Rating: Very Good
Strong Points: Software can be used on website or downloaded for use offline.
Weak Points: Documentation is fairly detailed but could be expanded.
VirusDetect is a great resource for researchers who are on the hunt for novel viruses. Users start by uploading their datasets of RNA reads into the software. Then, the software will align the sequences, compare them to a reference database or to de novo reads constructed by a sequence assembler, and return the similarity between the uploaded dataset and known virus sequences. VirusDetect can be used directly on the website after creating an account, or it can be downloaded locally for analysis offline. Additionally, the website conveniently includes a BLAST feature that allows users manually align sequences right on the website. There is also documentation of how to download and use the software and a list of parameters that the software accepts. Overall, VirusDetect is a convenient tool for aligning and examining large datasets in order to find undiscovered viruses.