Genostar demonstrates its bioinformatics platform for exploratory genomics

The Genostar consortium today announces the launch of its Genostar platform for exploratory genomics, the result of two and a half years research carried out by a team of more than 20 genomics and bioinformatics scientists and developers. Exploratory genomics involves the study of the structure and function of genes and proteins and plays a vital role in healthcare, agrifood and other industries. Members of the consortium are GENOME express, Hybrigenics, INRIA and the Pasteur Institute (see boilerplates for profiles).

Genostar meets the challenge of working with the huge volumes and diversity of genomic data by offering scientists a new architecture based on a unified representation of data and the relationships between them. Scientists will find this approach a significant advance in genomic research as it allows the user to store, manipulate and compare different types of data, an activity hitherto fraught with problems.

Genostar’s designers set out to develop a comprehensive discovery platform that could be employed across all fields of genomics and manipulate and compare various categories of data. Another goal was scalability, allowing inclusion of new categories of data, customization of discovery methods and integration of new bioinformatic modules into the system. The platform also meets objectives in user-friendliness: plug’n’play, interoperability between modules and compatibility with a range of operating systems. The concept of a unique, unified, bioinformatic representation of data, offering a user-friendly set of tools for synthesizing and analyzing data, is at the heart of Genostar.

Genostar is made up of three modules which run on top of a kernel that handles data and storage. GenoAnnot is dedicated to genome annotation and identifying particular genomic areas of biological interest. GenoLink analyzes the functions of what genes produce. GenoBool focuses on analysis and correlation of heterogeneous data.

“Genostar is a fantastic tool for genomic exploration and a great response to the challenges arising from the scientific and industrial revolution that genomic science has created,” said François Rechenmann, project coordinator and Director of Research at INRIA. “We are even more proud of our achievement as it is the result of collaboration across several disciplines. We want Genostar to become a standard tool for the scientific community.”

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