Wednesday, July 26, 2006

For those of you who are familiar with BLAST, you will know that it stands for Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, and that it is a crucial part of bioinformatics. It allows you to compare your choice sequences of nucleotides or amino acids with that of every organism in the GenBank database. This is useful in so many areas, from molecular biology, to evolution and taxonomy, to locating homologues and altered genes.

GenBank and BLAST, however, like most of NCBI’s many components, are somewhat dicey when it comes to proper labeling, consistent filenames, and overall organization and efficiency. Ask any scientist who’s worked with GenBank for any length of time and they will tell you that although it’s done a great deal to advance the field, they wish there was more of a structured approach to it. Ask any computer scientist and they will tell you that it's an organizational nightmare. So if you want to do research in bioinformatics, genetics, or genomics, you’re going to want to know as much as you can about the ins and outs of BLAST. It can save you much wasted time and effort. Here are some of the best BLAST resources on the web. With any luck, you'll learn BLAST even FASTA. (If you got the pun, you've got a head start.) Use them well…


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home