.BLOW5 File Extension

SLOW5 Binary Data

Developer Hasindu Gamaarachchi et al.
1.0  |  1 Vote
Category Data Files
Format Binary

What is a BLOW5 file?

A BLOW5 file is a binary file that contains signal data collected using a nanopore sequencer. It is saved in the binary version of the SLOW5 file format. BLOW5 files are created by converting FAST5 files using the Slow5tools toolkit.

More Information

FAST5 files are HDF5 (.HDF) files that store raw current-signal data recorded using Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) devices. The format includes limitations that, among other things, prevent efficient parallel analysis. To overcome these limitations, Hasindu Gamaarachchi and others developed the SLOW5 and BLOW5 formats.

SLOW5 is an ASCII format that stores a FAST5 file's data in plain text. BLOW5 is the binary version of SLOW5. BLOW5 files can be compressed using a variety of compression algorithms, further minimizing their file size. Both formats can be randomly accessed using accompanying index files, which use the .slow5.idx and .blow5.idx extensions.

How to open a BLOW5 file

You can use Slow5tools (Linux, Mac) to view a BLOW5 file's contents and otherwise manipulate the file. For example, you can use Slow5tools to convert a BLOW5 file to the SLOW5 or FAST5 format, and you can use it to merge multiple BLOW5 files into a single file.

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Programs that open BLOW5 files

Updated May 18, 2022

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