EMBOSS is "The European Molecular Biology Open Software Suite". EMBOSS is a free Open Source software analysis package specially developed for the needs of the molecular biology (e.g. EMBnet) user community. The software automatically copes with data in a variety of formats and even allows transparent retrieval of sequence data from the web. Also, as extensive libraries are provided with the package, it is a platform to allow other scientists to develop and release software in true open source spirit. EMBOSS also integrates a range of currently available packages and tools for sequence analysis into a seamless whole.

Within EMBOSS you will find around hundreds of programs (applications) covering areas such as:

  • Sequence alignment,
  • Rapid database searching with sequence patterns,
  • Protein motif identification, including domain analysis,
  • Nucleotide sequence pattern analysis---for example to identify CpG islands or repeats,
  • Codon usage analysis for small genomes,
  • Rapid identification of sequence patterns in large scale sequence sets,
  • Presentation tools for publication

Clustal W

Clustal W is a general purpose multiple sequence alignment program for DNA or proteins.It produces biologically meaningful multiple sequence alignments of divergent sequences. It calculates the best match for the selected sequences, and lines them up so that the identities, similarities and differences can be seen.


BLAT is a sequence analysis tool which performs rapid mRNA/DNA and cross-species protein alignments. BLAT is more accurate and 500 times faster than popular existing tools for mRNA/DNA alignments and 50 times faster for protein alignments at sensitivity settings typically used when comparing vertebrate sequences.

BLAT is not BLAST. DNA BLAT works by keeping an index of the entire genome (but not the genome itself) in memory. Since the index takes up a bit less than a gigabyte of RAM, BLAT can deliver high performance on a reasonably priced Linux box. The index is used to find areas of probable homology, which are then loaded into memory for a detailed alignment. Protein BLAT works in a similar manner, except with 4-mers rather than 11-mers. The protein index takes a little more than 2 gigabytes.


The BLAST programs are widely used tools for searching DNA and protein databases for sequence similarity to identify homologs to a query sequence. While often referred to as just "BLAST", this can really be thought of as a set of programs: blastp, blastn, blastx, tblastn, and tblastx.


Bioperl offers a set of perl modules which can be used for sequence manipulation. Knowledge of PERL programming is required.

Getting Connected

There are two ways to connect to our systems. The traditional way will require you to install some software locally on your machine, including an SSH client, SFTP client, and optionally an X Windows server. The alternative is to use our zero-client web portal, OnDemand.

Managing Your Account

Once your account is set-up you will receive a welcome letter from us containing your username and default password, which will allow you to register your ARMSTRONG account.

The ARMSTRONG portal provides many services to OSC users, including:


ANSYS offers a comprehensive software suite that spans the entire range of physics, providing access to virtually any field of engineering simulation that a design process requires. Supports are provided by ANSYS, Inc


The Assisted Model Building with Energy Refinement (AMBER) package contains many molecular simulation programs targeted at biomolecular systems. A wide variety of modelling techniques are available. It generally scales well on modest numbers of processors, and the GPU enabled CUDA programs are very efficient.

Availability and Restrictions

AMBER is available on Ruby, Oakley, and Glenn Clusters. The following versions are currently available at OSC (S means serial executables, P means parallel, and C means CUDA, i.e., GPU enabled):


CUDA™ (Compute Unified Device Architecture) is a parallel computing platform and programming model developed by Nvidia that enables dramatic increases in computing performance by harnessing the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU).


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