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Jun. 14, 2011

RIKEN OSC offers free environment for genetic analysis to researchers in disaster area

In an effort to help rebuild research communities in areas devastated by the recent earthquake, the RIKEN Omics Science Center (OSC), together with bioinformatics solution provider CLC bio Japan, will provide a free software environment for advanced DNA/RNA/protein analysis to researchers in affected areas. The environment will enable bioinformatics researchers in these areas to quickly resume their work using the world's top high-precision analysis technology, boosting scientific output and supporting broader economic recovery.

In today's world of data-intense bioinformatics research, advanced software tools for DNA, RNA and protein analyses are essential for the pursuit of cutting-edge science. Many researchers in Japan situated in regions devastated by the recent earthquake, however, have been left without these tools, disrupting research activities and holding back important scientific advances.

To support the quick recovery of these communities, the Omics Science Center, Japan's premier hub for research and development on genome-wide sequencing and analysis, is offering an environment for genetic analysis to local researchers for them to use free of charge. The environment consists of two components: dedicated servers (and IT support) provided by the OSC, and gene analysis software ("Main Workbench") provided by CLC bio Japan. Simply by logging into the dedicated servers, researchers in disaster areas will be able to use the software and access results of integrated analysis. The hosting arrangement eliminates the need for researchers to set up a server or worry about networking issues, which can add to electricity demands and increase setup and maintenance costs, thus enabling researchers to get up and running very quickly.

Yoshihide Hayashizaki, Director of the OSC, explained the motivation for the project. "Compared to all the troubles that people are facing in the affected areas, continuity of research may not seem like the highest priority," he said. "However, we feel that it is our duty to assist our colleagues in any way we can to help them get through this difficult time. We hope this project will be useful to them."

About RIKEN and the RIKEN Omics Science Center

RIKEN is a Japanese research institute that carries out high-level experimental and research work in a wide range of fields, including physics, chemistry, medical science, biology, and engineering, covering the entire range from basic research to practical applications. RIKEN was first organized in 1917 as a private research foundation and was reorganized in 2003 as an independent administrative institution under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan.

The RIKEN Omics Science Center (OSC), one of 17 research centers at RIKEN, is Japan's premier hub for research and development on genome-wide sequencing and analysis. Since 2009, the OSC has acted as the sequencing center for MEXT's Cell Innovation Project.

About CLC bio Japan

CLC bio Japan is a subsidiary of CLC bio, established in 2009 with the aim of servicing the Japanese market.