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Having a BLAST with bioinformatics (and avoiding BLASTphemy)

Alexander Pertsemlidis* and John W Fondon

Author Affiliations

Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-8591, USA

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Genome Biology 2001, 2:reviews2002-reviews2002.10  doi:10.1186/gb-2001-2-10-reviews2002

Published: 27 September 2001

Abstract

Searching for similarities between biological sequences is the principal means by which bioinformatics contributes to our understanding of biology. Of the various informatics tools developed to accomplish this task, the most widely used is BLAST, the basic local alignment search tool. This article discusses the principles, workings, applications and potential pitfalls of BLAST, focusing on the implementation developed at the National Center for Biotechnology Information.