Bio-Mirror public service
for high-speed access to biosequence data

This is a world-wide bioinformatic public service for high-speed access to up-to-date DNA/protein biological sequence databanks. In genome research, these databanks have been being growing tremendously, so much that distribution of them is hampered by existing Internet speeds. The Bio-Mirror project is devoted to facilitate timely access to important large data sets for this research. High speed access is provided by Internet2 infrastructure of the Very High Speed Backbone Service (vBNS), Abilene, TransPAC, the Australian Academic Research Network (AARNet) and the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN).

Currently available Bio-mirror servers


Current data sets include

DNA biosequence data include GenBank, EMBL, DDBJ, REFSEQ. Protein biosequence data include SWISS-PROT*, TrEMBL, PIR, GENPEPT. Protein structure data includes PDB. Other data include BLOCKS, ENZYME, PROSITE*, REBASE, UNIGENE, BLAST, INTERPRO, PFAM.

Data totals about 66 Gigabytes in compressed format (as of Nov. 2001), and are updated from the primary sources nightly. * See Addendum for commercial restrictions on SWISS-PROT and PROSITE

Participating Institutions

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council (AFFRC), Japan
File transfer:
Contact: Akira Mizushima

Indiana University, Department of Biology, USA
File transfer:
Contact: Don Gilbert

GrangeNet/AARNet/Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
File transfer:
Contact: Markus Buchhorn

BioInformatics Centre (BIC), National University of Singapore, Singapore
File transfer:
Contact: Mark De Silva

The Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS), China
File transfer:
Contact: Juncai MA

The support of Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Network APBioNet ( through the APBioNet-APAN advanced networking project, with the Agriculture Working Group and Bioinformatics Working Group of APAN, has been instrumental in aiding this project.

Other bioinformatics and public data services are invited to participate, and to utilize this high-speed access to data sets. No association with APAN is expected of biomirror project members.

Internet2 infrastructure organizations

Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) -
Trans-Pacific network, TransPAC -
Very High Speed Backbone Service (vBNS) -
Abilene -
Singapore Internet Next Generation Advanced Research and Education Network (SINGAREN) -
Australian Academic Research Network (AARNet) and GrangeNet -

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council (AFFRC), Japan is well connected to APAN, sharing data through APAN between the sites, and through TransPAC with Indiana University. The National University of Singapore connects through SINGAREN to STARTAP vBNS, to CA*Net2 and to Tokyo APAN. The Australian bio-mirror is directly connected to AARNet, which has a high-speed link directly into Abilene in Seattle.

Indiana University is well connected to high-speed initiatives of Internet2, as a member in vBNS, and center of Abilene network operations and the US TransPAC connections to APAN. Abilene is an advanced research and education network in the United States. See

Project background

These servers are publicly available sites for high-speed access to up-to-date DNA/protein biological sequence databanks. High speed access between the sites is provided by the network infrastructure developed by Very High Speed Backbone Service (vBNS), TransPAC (Trans-Pacific network), and Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN), and others. These sites are well connected to national research and education networks within each country.

DNA/protein biological sequence databanks are essential for advanced studies in genome research. These sequence data have been mutually collected between US, Japan and Europe since 1984. Biosequence search methods such as BLAST for finding homologous sequences, SRS for searching sequence and research literature documentation, and others all require large local disks to store these databases, and rapid, efficient Internet access to obtain current data.

Bioinformatics service centers have been developed in many countries, among regional university, government and industry labs, to provide life scientists with the most recently updated biological sequence databanks. Without infrastructure to distribute this data efficiently, these services often are not updated in a timely manner due to the lack of existing network band width. In this project, we will develop a reliable mirror server with high speed data transfer, using advanced network infrastructure.

Project milestones


Commercial use restrictions on SWISS-PROT and PROSITE:
Publishers of the SWISS-PROT and PROSITE data sets ask that all commercial users participate in the funding of these important data by paying a license fee. No fee is charged to academic users. Please refer to these announcements for details:,