The Microsoft Biology Initiative (MBI) is an effort in Microsoft Research to bring new technology and tools to the area of bioinformatics and biology. This initiative is comprised of two primary components, the Microsoft Biology Foundation (MBF) and the Microsoft Biology Tools (MBT).
The Microsoft Biology Foundation (MBF) is a language-neutral bioinformatics toolkit built as an extension to the Microsoft .NET Framework, initially aimed at the area of Genomics research. Currently, it implements a range of parsers for common bioinformatics file formats; a range of algorithms for manipulating DNA, RNA, and protein sequences; and a set of connectors to biological web services such as NCBI BLAST. MBF is available under an open source license, and executables, source code, demo applications, and documentation are freely downloadable.
The Microsoft Biology Tools (MBT) are a collection of tools targeted at helping the biology and bioinformatics researcher be more productive in making scientific discoveries. The tools provided here take advantage of the capabilities provided in the Microsoft Biology Foundation, and are good examples of how MBF can be used to create other tools.
This tutorial will provide an overview of the library, details about how to extend and re-use the library, and demonstrations of the tools released that use the library: The MSR Biology Extension for Excel and the MSR Sequence Assembler.