Hello all! Jeff and I (at least) are planning on going to BOSC (http://ismb00.sdsc.edu/bosc2000/) and ISMB (http://ismb00.sdsc.edu/) and presenting a poster. Towards this end, we wrote up an abstract targetted at the use of Piper (was Loci) in bioinformatics research for these conferences. We were hoping we might be able to get some feedback from everyone about the abstract--any comments: good, bad or indifferent would be *extremely* appreciated. The deadline for the abstracts is in a few days (May 31st--of course we're doing this at the last minute)... Anyways, below is the abstract. Thanks in advance for your time. Brad Piper: A Distributed Platform for Linking Bioinformatics Programs 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 process 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 to link bioinformatics programs. 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 more robust equipment. Piper is designed as a modular system using CORBA connectivity 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 an open-source model, allowing contribution and design feedback from individuals in multiple area of bioinformatics. Applications of Piper in comparative genomic mapping and phylogenetic analysis are discussed.