Emerald Cloud Lab makes Symbolic Lab Language open source for research

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Imges
© Getty Imges

Related tags Emerald Cloud Lab open science Research automated system Data management

Emerald Cloud Lab (ECL) was the world’s first highly automated cloud laboratory, was set up by two friends, Brian Frezza and D.J Kleinbaum who grew up together and joined forces after their PhDs to found the company.

It was their frustration with technology that led them to start ECL with the aim of advancing laboratory virtualization among other things.

The company includes Symbolic Lab Language (SLL) that allows researchers to make the most of the most widely used computational language for remotely conducting scientific experiments.

ECL announced on Tuesday August 22, that the company’s exclusive Symbolic Lab Language (SLL) will now be open source for research use.

Robust programming language

This will allow scientists and entrepreneurs from around the world to make full use of the industry’s most robust and established programming language for remotely conducting scientific experiments in a cloud lab and build upon it to help foster an open science ecosystem. 

ECL says it is a longtime supporter of open science, the principle and practice and multi-US Federal agency initiative of making research products and processes available to all while ‘fostering collaboration, reproducibility, and equity’.

The company says the reason it made its SLL open source is to further support the mission of open science by removing access barriers and accelerating the use of cloud labs for scientific research across multiple industries spanning pharmaceuticals, biotech, food and beverage, consumer products, and materials science .

Expanding the cloud lab ecosystem

Frezza, co-founder and co-CEO at ECL, said: “We believe making SLL open source will make it easier for the scientific community to adopt highly automated cloud labs and hopefully share their data using open science principles.

“This will expand the cloud lab ecosystem by providing entrepreneurs with a standardized language that can be leveraged to create new protocols and add new capabilities to aid scientists with their research.”

The company explains that the SLL programming language has been developed and refined by ECL for more than a decade. It has been used to conduct more than 600,000 experiments on over 230 unique scientific instruments. ECL says that the SLL is generally considered the most developed and widely used language for remotely controlling experiments in a cloud lab.

New state-of-the-art lab

EMERALD SLL Open Source Graphic_

In addition this quarter, ECL is also bringing its new 'state-of-the-art' cloud lab facility, located in Austin, Texas, online. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is also nearing the completion of the world’s first academic cloud lab.

Sayeed Choudhury is associate dean for digital infrastructure, University Libraries, Carnegie Mellon University. He said: “The importance of open-source software for advancing open science has been mentioned and reinforced by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and multiple federal funding agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

“ECL's laudable decision to release SLL as open source reflects their commitment to supporting the Year of Open Science and establishes their leadership position in connecting automated science facilities with open science. Their decision will be critical towards the development of national networks of open, automated science facilities." 

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