Microsoft has added a new application to its Windows Azure cloud computing platform that will make it possible for a larger spectrum of researchers to crunch big numbers in the field of biotechnology.

The company announced at the Supercomputing conference in New Orleans the release of NCBI BLAST on the Azure platform. BLAST is short for Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, and is an application that can be used by researchers in bioinformatics, energy, drug research and other fields to sift through large protein databases. NCBI is the acronym for the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

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