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The new Indian genie in bio-informatics—the science of managing and analysing biological data using advanced computing techniques—is Bio-Suite, a software package developed by a team from 18 research institutions and three industries, led by India’s largest IT firm TCS. The ‘versatile, portable’ package, TCS claims, is the first of its kind to be developed by Indian engineers. "From simulation and drug designing to genome analysis, protein modelling and structural analysis, this is a tool meant for anyone involved in research and development in these fields," says Rajesh Nambiar, regional head of TCS in Andhra Pradesh.It will be available in the market in two years.
While Bio-Suite can help researchers make sense of reams of data, pharma firms can use it to design drugs tailored to respond to individual genetic profiles, and doctors to provide individualised health care. "As every line of the code has been written by us, it gives us an enormous capacity to modify or enhance the product to match a client’s specific needs," says Dr Rajagopal Srinivasan, a key scientist involved with developing Bio-Suite.