Open Source Clinical Software is Opening Up Biotech

Zachary Russ | Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | September 27, 2011

Open-source computing looks at software as a public good. Programs are measured in pride over profit.  Programs are provided with their source code free-of-charge, allowing users to freely modify the work, provided the terms of the license (usually attribution and licensing the derived code under the same open-source license) are met.

For mainstream applications such as operating systems or productivity suites, open-source alternatives followed their commercial counterparts after the latter's licensing burdens became too restrictive. However, a large fraction of academic projects have been open-source from the start, owing to their educational value, collaborative nature, and public funding. NCBI BLAST is one of the most successful of these projects and receives hundreds of thousands of DNA-alignment requests daily...