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StarBLAST: a scalable BLAST+ solution for the classroom

BLAST is a popular bioinformatics tool that is increasingly used in classrooms, however, using the interface at NCBI has several limitations such as updates to databases and throttling if too many requests are coming from the same location. To address these limitations, we developed StarBLAST, which provides three different ways to deploy BLAST for teaching based on the computational expertise of the instructor and the number of students in the classroom: StarBLAST-VICE for small classes requires no computational expertise to deploy; StarBLAST-Docker for mid-sized classes uses containers and virtual machines to distribute BLAST jobs, and StarBLAST-HPC for large classes which parallelizes BLAST jobs across multiple HPC nodes.

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ISSN 2577-3569