.NET Bio was originally built and released by Microsoft Research under the name Microsoft Biology Foundation (MBF) and was part of the Microsoft Biology Initiative in the eScience division. It was later repackaged and released by the Outercurve Foundation as a fully public and open source project under the Apache license.
The library consists of a set of object-oriented classes written in C# to perform common bioinformatic tasks such as:
- Read and write standard alignment and sequence-oriented data files such as FASTA and GenBank.
- Access online web services such as NCBI BLAST to search known databases for sequence fragments.
- Algorithms for local and global alignments.
- Algorithms for sequence assembly, including a parallel DeNovo assembler implementation.
Even though the library itself is written in C#, it may be used from any .NET compatible language and has samples of various usages including from IronPython scripting.