Attempts to download BLAST or Entrez search results fail, and may return error “Failed to save”
Version Affected: All
Version Fixed: 15.3 (partial fix)
Issue: After searching NCBI’s BLAST or Entrez databases from within a Lasergene application, attempts to retrieve sequences from the BLAST or Entrez search results window fail. The only indication of failure may be the absence of downloaded sequences. In some cases, particularly when using SeqBuilder Pro or SeqBuilder, an error message (“Failed to save”) may also be displayed.
This issue is related to NCBI’s upcoming requirement that “power” e-Utility users have API keys to access the e-Utility services. API keys will be mandatory for these users starting in December 2018. Without a valid API key, any IP address that submits more than 3 e-Utility requests per second will result in an error. With a key, the threshold increases to 10 requests per second.
NCBI began rolling out these API keys in May 2018, and has been requiring them during occasional 1-hour tests. Lasergene users that send an over-threshold number of BLAST or Entrez search requests during these tests are unable to retrieve sequences from the NCBI servers. This issue affects all of the Lasergene applications that support BLAST or Entrez searching: SeqBuilder Pro, SeqMan Pro, GeneQuest, MegAlign, Protean, SeqBuilder, PrimerSelect, and EditSeq.
Resolution: We mitigated this issue in Lasergene version 15.3, released Oct. 24, 2018. This version allows you to download the first ~200 results from a BLAST or Entrez search without experiencing the issue discussed above. If you use Lasergene’s BLAST or Entrez search functionality, we recommend that you log in to your DNASTAR account and update to the most recent version of Lasergene. We plan to fully support NCBI’s API keys in a future release of Lasergene. If you have questions or need assistance updating your software, please contact DNASTAR at 866-511-5090 or email@example.com.