Microsoft Contributes Biology Project to Open Source

Microsoft has contributed its .Net Bio project to the Outercurve Foundation.

Microsoft has contributed its .Net Bio project to the Outercurve Foundation, a software IP management and project development governance organization for open-source efforts.

The Outercurve Foundation announced its acceptance of the .Net Bio project into the foundation's Research Accelerators Gallery. Formerly known as the Microsoft Biology Foundation, .Net Bio is a language-neutral, reusable .NET library and API that supports the development of applications for bioinformatics research. It is the fourth project contributed to the gallery. The open-source project has the support of bioinformatics researchers from a number of educational institutions, foundation officials said.

The Research Accelerators Gallery hosts open-source projects that support the development of tools and technologies used by academic researchers and scientists. Working within the gallery, .Net Bio contributors will be able to increase the project's focus on improving community-development practices to broaden the capabilities and usefulness of .Net Bio to the life sciences community, the foundation said.

"The .Net Bio project shows the power of community and collaboration in the scientific and research communities," Paula Hunter, executive director of the Outercurve Foundation, said in a statement. "The contribution of such a significant and far-reaching project will help researchers expand participation in planned development engagements within the USA, Brazil, Colombia, and Australia. .Net Bio will enable researchers to share data and development methodologies to support a range of life sciences research projects."

.Net Bio is a bioinformatics toolkit that includes a library of commonly used bioinformatics functions. The .Net Bio project's V1 release, completed in summer 2011, facilitates collaboration and accelerates scientific research by enabling different data sets to communicate. Several universities and corporations use .Net Bio tools to reduce processing time and enable scientists to focus on research. Project committers come from Cornell University, the University of Queensland, Johnson & Johnson, Illumina and Microsoft-the foundation's primary sponsor.

"As part of the Outercurve Foundation, .Net Bio project committers will have the resources and community participation to support more complex and very large plant genomes by working with universities and consortia around the world," Tony Hey, an Outercurve board member and corporate vice president of Microsoft Research Connections, said in a statement. "The project brings a strong history of consistent and dedicated community management to the Outercurve Foundation."

The Outercurve Foundation has three galleries and 17 projects. Galleries include the ASP.NET Open Source Gallery, the Research Accelerators Gallery and the Data, Language and System Interoperability (DLSI) Gallery.