The BLAST Robot is a good example of SynBioWave interacting with third party services. In this case we access the NCBI BLAST tool via their URL API. This way we can submit jobs to the BLAST servers and check out the results once the process is over.

How do I submit a job?

If you want to perform a BLAST search there are currently two options for you to choose from: You can use a sequence from workspace or directly input a sequence into the mask. (Again, if you choose to use a sequence from the workspace make sure that you have only one selected).
To submit the job to NCBI click “send”. The robot will then try to recognize the type of your sequence and choose the query database accordingly. Then it will send the data to NCBI and wait for the results. This may take some time depending on the input sequence.


Evaluating the BLAST results and displaying them without flooding the Wave with information is a little challenging. For now the Robot only displays the first 3 hits of each search. We will add further options to select from such as simple hitlist.

About the Author