Blast away

DNAStar Inc.'s new StarBlast program gives scientists the tools they need to set up and then search their own DNA and protein sequence databases. A solo investigator could use StarBlast to store sequence files into an easily accessible database, then compare a newly discovered sequence to those already in the database. A team of investigators might want to store all their vectors in a database, so they can later locate a specific vector by keyword or by similarity.

StarBlast Manager (Mac OS X version shown) enables researchers to create their own sequence databases.

Do-it-yourselfers can use a Windows desktop machine as the server and a Windows PC or Macintosh as the client for creating and maintaining the database. A Web browser or DNAStar Lasergene module can be used to send queries and display results.

"Without the use of special hardware or IT expertise, you can easily create, append to, and search your databases on your own secure machine," the company says. StarBlast can be configured to run on a single laptop. The package also includes StarBlast Manager for creating, appending to, or deleting databases.

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