Graphic Interface and Protocols for Genomic Displays

Period of Performance: 08/01/1997 - 01/31/1998


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Topogen, Inc.
Principal Investigator


A growing need for graphically displaying and accessing genetic sequence information has been generated by the large (and increasingly larger) quantity of sequence data available to researchers. Despite this need, there are no generally acceptable standards for encoding and transmitting graphic display parameters (i.e., how to display a sequence and which features to highlight). MapKit (TopoGEN software) has been rated the best sequence mapping software of 1996 by Biotechnology Software and Internet Journal. On the Windows/PC platform, MapKit accomplishes the goals of graphically representing a broad range of sequence features and providing a local server that can interact with other applications to display and select sequence features. The purpose of this SBIR is to enable the development of a public domain standard that supports distributed data processing and is platform independent, i.e., a graphic sequence feature representation protocol that may be transmitted over the Internet and implemented on any computer system (Macintosh, Unix-based, etc.). The specific aims of the SBIR include developing the protocol, defining display and access standards for sequence viewers, creating as a prototype a public domain sequence viewer for the Windows/PC platform, creating a web site to support the project, and using the web site to distribute the protocol description and Windows software to users (genetics researchers, molecular biologists, etc.), software developers, and database managers. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION This project supports creation of a public domain protocol for associating graphic display information with genetic sequences and their features. The protocol will be used in developing sequence mapping and display software for a variety of computer platforms. This approach permits the exchange of graphic display information over the Internet in a platform independent manner, much as Internet web pages are now transmitted to a variety of computers. Extending this analogy, sequence viewers would correspond to the web browsers now available. Commercial opportunities are associated with licensing map viewers and supplying map creation and editing applications similar to our existing MapKit for Windows.