Secure homology searches

Jonathan Epstein Jonathan_Epstein at nih.gov
Wed May 20 14:00:01 EST 1998

Hi, Charles,

I believe that NCBI (with whon I'm no longer affiliated) supports secure
HTTP, i.e.
although when I just tried it with IE 3.0 and Netscape 4.0, it didn't

You could also download the source code for the network BLAST client
(the NCBI toolkit) and build an encryption-capable version for
yourself.  You'll need to follow the instructions in the network/encrypt
directory for this.  Note that this is a lot of trouble to go to, but if
you do this then you also can run PowerBLAST, which (I believe) is
currently not possible over the web.  The toolkit source code is at:
If you get this working, be sure to rerun your homemade Network Entrez
configuration program to actually enable encryption, since your
executables will be encryption-capable but will not use encryption by

I believe that the latest version of GCG uses HTTP to perform its BLAST
searches.  I guess that if you can get the "https" method above working
using a web browser, then there _may_ be a way to get GCG to use that
method as well.

Best regards,

- Jonathan

Charles Alexander wrote:

> Hello
> Short of mounting the BLAST databases locally on our disks, is it
> possible to perform BLAST homology searches securely over the Net.
> What other options are there ?
> Thanks in advance.
> Charles Alexander

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