LatchBio launches the first of many evolutionary bioinformatics workflows to come

../images/latchbio_logo.png LatchBio is implementing innovative approaches to streamline bioinformatic workflows through an easy-to-use browser-based platform. The bioinformatics workflows available on the LatchBio platform facilitate diverse analyses across many disciplines in the biological sciences including Gene Therapy and Editing, Cell Therapy, SARS-CoV-2 research, and Next Generation Sequence analysis. “The LatchBio platform makes trusted academic tools accessible directly to biologists with best-in-class user interfaces and a flexible cloud-native data infrastructure accessible from any browser,” says Kenny Workman co-founder and CTO.

../software_images/clipkit_logo.jpg Recently, LatchBio has expanded the workflows available on our platform to include analyses for the field of evolutionary biology through a collaboration with Dr. Jacob L. Steenwyk, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellow working in the laboratory of Dr. Antonis Rokas at Vanderbilt University. As the debut workflow, LatchBio and Steenwyk release ClipKIT, an algorithm for trimming multiple sequence alignments prior to phylogenetic inference (Steenwyk et al., 2020). See and use the workflow here! Across 140,000 multiple sequence alignments that span a broad diversity of evolutionary histories, phylogenies inferred from multiple sequence alignments trimmed with ClipKIT were shown to be accurate and robust. Multiple sequence alignments trimmed using ClipKIT may help address a major goal in evolutionary biology — elucidating the evolutionary history of genes, genomes, and species.

LatchBio and Steenwyk plan to continue collaborating and build more evolutionary genomic bioinformatic workflows on the LatchBio platform. “Working with the team at LatchBio is incredibly exciting,” Steenwyk said. LatchBio is solving real problems in the world of bioinformatics and simultaneously democratizing analyses. Now, with the click of a few buttons, scientists with varying degrees of bioinformatic experience can easily conduct high throughput and reproducible bioinformatic analyses — that is really powerful.”

Steenwyk was one of the first user's of LatchBio's recently released Software Development Kit (SDK), an open-source bioinformatics workflow development kit. The LatchBio SDK improves upon predecessors such as WDL and nextflow by allowing Python-native development, serverless cloud resource definition (e.g., memory or GPU requirements), and dynamically generated and customizable front-end interfaces. Using the LatchBio SDK, academic python scripts become versioned, containerized, and accessible pieces of software that can be cited and shared within research communities.

Shafer, M. E. R., Sawh, A. N., and Schier, A. F. (2022). Steenwyk, J. L., Buida, T. J., Li, Y., Shen, X.-X., and Rokas, A. (2020). ClipKIT: A multiple sequence alignment trimming software for accurate phylogenomic inference. PLOS Biol. 18, e3001007. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.3001007.

Conflict of Interest Statement: J.L.S. is a scientific consultant for Latch AI Inc.

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