Hello again; I got some very helpful comments on the abstract for Loci/Piper and made a few changes to it, so I thought I would resend it with the new info. Once again, if anyone has any comments, no matter how small, they would be much appreciated. Also, I need to get address info for everyone mentioned in the authors so I can get this together, so if you are listed please send me an e-mail off the list and drop me the info. Or, if Jeff has an idea how we can just all be referenced as coming from "The Open Lab" that would be even better. Now for your reading pleasure... Distributing Bioinformatics Application with Piper J.W. Bizzaro, Gary Van Domselaar, Jarl van Katwijk, Jean-Marc Valin, Brad Chapman, Dominic Letourneau, Deanne Taylor A typical problem in bioinformatics research is linking together multiple programs to analyze a set of information. A common example of this is in building phylogenetic trees from DNA sequences. The sequences are intially aligned using a sequence alignment program, are then analyzed in a phylogeny program to produce trees, and finally the trees are visualized in a viewer. This process can be further complicated by the fact that the programs may have incompatible inputs and outputs, as well as extensive memory and processing requirements. To address these problems the authors have developed Piper, a distributed platform that can be used to link bioinformatics programs. Piper is ideally suited to bionformatics analysis in that it can combine highly specific, modular, data repositories and data analysis functions together to provide sophisticated and efficient data processing networks. Piper is designed to provide a wrapper around exisiting bioinformatics programs so that they can be connected and executed in an intuitive manner. In addition, individual programs can be located on remote computers, so that expensive calculations can be executed on faster, dedicated systems. Piper is designed as a modular system using CORBA connectivity protocols as the backbone to link the modules. This design allows multiple user interfaces to control the core processing engine. In addition, Piper is being developed under the Open Source model, allowing contribution and design feedback from individuals in multiple area of bioinformatics. Piper is especially well suited to for automated high-throughput data analysis like protein fold identification, sequence condiditioning such as repeat/vector masking and data format conversion, and customization of batch scripting processes such as building phylogenetic trees from DNA sequences.