Magic-BLAST version 1.5.0 is here!


We’ve just released a new version of Magic-BLAST with several new, user-driven enhancements like:

  • Nanopore sequence alignment
  • Improved multithreading performance
  • Support for the new BLAST database version, BLASTDBv5, that allows you to limit your search by taxonomy
  • More reliable placements of reads

The new executables are available on the NCBI FTP site.

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A new paper (PMID: 31345161), published in July 2019 by BMC Bioinformatics, presents the usage accuracy of Magic-BLAST.

Magic-BLAST aligns next generation DNA- and RNA-Seq sequencing reads. Read more about the latest version of Magic-BLAST in the release notes.

NCBI to help with Rocky Mountain Genomics HackCon, June 17 – 21, 2019


The NCBI will participate in a one-day conference on June 18, 2019 and a hackathon, June 19-21, 2019 as a part of Rocky Mountain Genomics Hackcon 2019 at the BioFrontiers Institute in Boulder Colorado.

The conference will feature technical speakers in precision medicine, metagenomics, and advanced RNA-Seq analysis, as well as an exhibitor and poster session. The hackathon will focus on creating visualization tools for exploratory data analysis.

Many people who attend these events have experience working with large datasets or the development of informatics tools, code, or pipelines; however, researchers who are in earlier stages of their data science journey, including students and postdocs are also encouraged to apply. Some projects are available to other non-scientific developers, mathematicians, or librarians. The event is open to anyone selected for the hackathon and willing to travel to Boulder, Colorado.  

Please visit the Rocky Mountain Genomics Hackcon 2019 site for more details and information on how to attend.

NCBI’s First Hackathon: Advanced Bioinformatic Analysis of Next-Gen Sequencing Data


This blog post is geared toward genomics professionals.

From January 5th-7th, 2015, NCBI, in conjunction with the NIH Office of Data Science, held a genomics hackathon, where genomics professionals gathered to write useful, efficient pipelines for people new to genomics.

After we announced the hackathon, over 130 qualified applicants expressed interest in attending. Four team leads chose 23 attendees from this pool, then assigned initial predefined roles and provided biological guidance for a product in one of four subject areas: DNA-Seq, RNA-Seq, Epigenomics and Metagenomics. Continue reading