BLASTer tool upgraded on DiaGrid Hub: BLASTer 1.1 released

June 14, 2012

A new version of DiaGrid's BLASTer tool has been released. Version 1.1 adds support for custom databases, allowing researchers to upload their own protein or nucleotide sequences to search against. This added flexibility makes BLASTer an even more powerful tool for the bioinformatics community.

The easy-to-use, Web-based tool, called BLASTer, is available at: http://diagrid.org/resources/blastgui

“DiaGrid is particularly suited for research using large scale BLAST searches because it involves numerous serial computations that can be parceled out to any number of available processors,” says Carol Song, senior research scientist at the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing, ITaP’s research computing unit. “Generally, the more processors the better, and DiaGrid can make thousands of processors available at a time.”

DiaGrid taps idle processors in offices, student computer labs, cluster supercomputers and more. It is based on the Condor distributed computing system, which works by pooling machines over the Purdue campus network and off campus via the Internet and fast research networks. The pool now includes nearly 50,000 processors.

ITaP introduced BLAST on DiaGrid in December 2011 and developed the BLASTer Web interface based on user feedback. “BLASTer is a nice program to use and it’s very useful,” says Nick Marra, a doctoral student in Professor Andrew DeWoody’s lab who’s studying genes involved in evolutionary adaptation. “They’ve been really good about implementing things that we’ve asked for.”

Moreover, the availability of BLASTer on DiaGrid has reduced the time to results for some of his computations from days to a couple of hours, Marra notes.

Originally posted: June 14, 2012