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Freely available tools for computational molecular biology.

Project description

**Biopython README file**

"The Biopython Project": is an
international association of developers of freely available Python
tools for computational molecular biology. provides an online resource for modules, scripts, and
web links for developers of Python-based software for life science
research. Thanks to bioperl, we can also provide web, FTP and CVS
space for individuals and organizations wishing to distribute or
otherwise make available standalone scripts & code.

This Biopython package is made available under generous terms. Please
see the LICENSE file for further details.

**For the impatient**

To build and install Biopython, download and unzip the source code,
go to this directory at the command line, and type:

python build
python test
python install

**System Requirements**

o "Python 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 or 2.6":
Note that support for Python 2.3 is likely to be dropped in a few
releases time. Given that Python 2.6 is still very new, it would be
prudent to opt for Python 2.5 or 2.4 at this time.

o "NumPy": (optional, but strongly recommended)
This package is only used in the computationally-oriented modules.
It is required for Bio.Cluster and a few other modules. If you
think you might need these modules, then please install NumPy
first. Also, please install if you are seeing
error messages such as:
ImportError: No module named numpy
Please note that this is the current NumPy distribution. The older
Numeric library is no longer supported in Biopython.

o "ReportLab": (optional)
This package is used in some code that generates graphical displays
of chromosomes. If you do not need this functionality, you will not
need to install this package.

o "psycopg": (optional) or
"pgdb": (optional)
These packages are used by BioSQL to access a PostgreSQL database.

o "MySQLdb": (optional)
This package is used by BioSQL or Bio.GFF to access a MySQL database.

o "mxTextTools": (unlikely)
You probably won't need mxTextTools. This was used in some of Biopython's
older parsers, and Martel/Mindy, but these have all been deprecated now.

In addition there are a number of useful third party tools you may wish to
install such as standalone NCBI BLAST or ClustalW.


*** Make sure that Python is installed correctly ***

Installation should be as simple as going to the biopython source code
directory, and typing:

'python install'

If you need to do additional configuration, e.g. changing the base
directory, please type 'python', or see the documentation for


Biopython includes a suite of regression tests to check if
everything is running correctly. To do the tests, go to the
biopython source code directory and type:

'python test'

Do not panic if you see messages warning of skipped tests:
test_DocSQL ... skipping. Install MySQLdb if you want to use Bio.DocSQL.

This most likely means that a package is not installed. You can
ignore this if it occurs in the tests for a module that you were not
planning on using. If you did want to use that module, please install
the required dependency and re-run the tests.


While we try to ship a robust package, bugs inevitably pop up. If you
are having problems that might be caused by a bug in Biopython, it is
possible that it has already been identified. Search the
"bug database": and mailing lists
to see if it has already been reported (and hopefully fixed).

If you suspect the problem lies within a parser, it is likely that the
data format has changed and broken the parsing code. (The BLAST and
GenBank formats seem to be particularly fragile.) Thus, the parsing
code in Biopython is updated faster than we can build Biopython
releases. You can get the most recent parser by pulling the relevant
files (e.g. the ones in Bio.SeqIO or Bio.Blast) out of
"anonymous cvs": .
However, be careful when doing this, because the code in CVS is not as
well-tested as released code, and may contain new dependencies.

Finally, you can send a bug report to the bug database or In the bug report, please let us know 1)
which operating system and hardware you are using, 2) Python version,
3) Biopython version (or CVS version/date), 4) traceback that occurs,
5) offending code, and 6) data file that causes the problem.

**Contributing, Bug Reports**

Biopython is run by volunteers from all over the world, with many
types of backgrounds. We are always looking for people interested in
helping with code development, web-site management, documentation
writing, technical administration, and whatever else comes up.

If you wish to contribute, please visit the
"web site":
and join our "mailing list":

**Distribution Structure**

README -- This file.

NEWS -- Release notes and news

LICENSE -- What you can do with the code.

CONTRIB -- An (incomplete) list of people who helped Biopython in
one way or another.

DEPRECATED -- Contains information about modules in Biopython that are
removed or no longer recommended for use, and how to update
code that uses those modules. -- Tells distutils what files to distribute -- Installation file.

Bio/ -- The main code base code.

Martel/ -- Code for the Martel parsing system, once used in many
Biopython parsers but now deprecated.

BioSQL/ -- Code for using Biopython with BioSQL databases.

Doc/ -- Documentation.

Scripts/ -- Miscellaneous, possibly useful, standalone scripts

Tests/ -- Regression testing code

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