Having a BLAST with bioinformatics (and avoiding BLASTphemy)
Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-8591, USA
Genome Biology 2001, 2:reviews2002-reviews2002.10 doi:10.1186/gb-2001-2-10-reviews2002Published: 27 September 2001
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.