It’s exciting to see that the Microsoft Biology Foundation 1.0 has been released! You can read more about it here. From MBF’s Web site:
“The Microsoft Biology Foundation (MBF) is a language-neutral bioinformatics toolkit built as an extension to the Microsoft .NET Framework, initially aimed at the area of Genomics research. Currently, it implements a range of parsers for common bioinformatics file formats; a range of algorithms for manipulating DNA, RNA, and protein sequences; and a set of connectors to biological web services such as NCBI BLAST. MBF is available under an open source license, and executables, source code, demo applications, and documentation are freely downloadable.”
Those of us on the Parallel Extensions team are particularly excited about this release because of MBF’s usage of the parallelism support in .NET 4. Here are some relevant comments from Michael Zyskowski, a member of the MBF team in Microsoft Research:
“Microsoft Biology Foundation implements some powerful genomic alignment and assembly algorithms, including a novel De novo assembler called PaDeNA (Parallel De Novo Assembler), which employs the use of the latest .NET 4 Parallel Extensions capabilities. In fact, many of the bioinformatics algorithms included in MBF are pleasingly parallel and take advantage of this great new technology. Not only does the use of Parallel Extensions greatly improve the runtime performance and hardware utilization, it was also relatively easy to implement and retrofit into existing implementations.
The primary driver in parallel computation for MBF v1.0 is the increased capability of the Windows desktop already available in most research institutions. We want to offer the researcher the ability to make better use of the computer that normally is dedicated to Office applications like Word, converting it to one that is capable of doing real, human-relevant health care research. This is just the start.”
Exciting stuff. Congratulations to the MBF team!