Pico is a project to build an infrastructure for working with malware. Right now the emphasis is on developing support for the Pico encoding, which provides a simple, lightweight encoding for malware files that (1) protects them from harm by anti-malware tools, (2) inactivates them, and (3) allows fast direct access to the raw bytes of the malware. In short, the desire is to have something better than "zip."
Visit the Pico Wiki for more details.
This work is being done at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and all work is Copyright (c) 2012 by UT-Battelle, LLC. It is released under a modified two-clause BSD license.