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Basic Local Alignment and Search Tool

Tutorial and training materials by OpenHelix

Learn to use BLAST, (Basic Local Alignment and Search Tool), the sequence similarity searching tool from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at NIH. You can use BLAST to find sequences similar to your nucleotide or protein sequences. There are also a variety of specialized BLAST programs available, including Primer-BLAST, VecScreen, SNP BLAST options, multiple alignment tools, and more. You can easily compare 2 sequences to each other. These can provide invaluable information in your quest to infer functional and taxonomic relationships for known or unknown sequences, or to further design experiments.
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You'll learn:

  • how to do basic nucleotide and protein BLAST searches
  • how to interpret and save your BLAST results
  • how to manipulate your data for easy analysis and visualization
  • to customize and save your searches and results with My NCBI
  • to use some of the specialized BLAST tools for multiple alignments and SNP analysis


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Recent BioMed Central research articles citing this resource

Schwarz Alexandra et al., Understanding the evolutionary structural variability and target specificity of tick salivary Kunitz peptides using next generation transcriptome data Genome evolution and evolutionary systems biology. BMC Evolutionary Biology (2014) doi:10.1186/1471-2148-14-4

Wang Shuang et al., GAMUT: GPU accelerated microRNA analysis to uncover target genes through CUDA-miRanda Selected articles from the 3rd Translational Bioinformatics Conference (TBC/ISCB-Asia 2013) The 3rd Annual Translational Bioinformatics Conference (TBC/ISCB-Asia 2013). BMC Medical Genomics (2014) doi:10.1186/1755-8794-7-S1-S9

Masseroli Marco et al., Explorative search of distributed bio-data to answer complex biomedical questions Integrated Bio-Search: Selected Works from the 12th International Workshop on Network Tools and Applications in Biology (NETTAB 2012) Integrated Bio-Search: 12th International Workshop on Network Tools and Applications in Biology (NETTAB 2012). BMC Bioinformatics (2014) doi:10.1186/1471-2105-15-S1-S3

Wang Jing et al., Evidence for the evolutionary origin of goldfish derived from the distant crossing of red crucian carp × common carp Animal population genetics. BMC Genetics (2014) doi:10.1186/1471-2156-15-33

Sait Michelle et al., Genome sequencing and comparative analysis of three Chlamydia pecorum strains associated with different pathogenic outcomes Prokaryote microbial genomics. BMC Genomics (2014) doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-23

More about the resource:

BLAST is a key resource developed and supported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Sequence submissions from around the world help to populate NCBI's Genbank database, to which novel sequences can be compared using BLAST. BLAST results are linked to the vast NCBI Entrez network of databases allowing for a rich resource for discovery.


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The materials and slides offered can not be resold or used for profit purposes. Reproduction, distribution and/or use is strictly limited to instructional purposes only and can not be used for for monetary gain or wide distribution.
Copyright 2009, OpenHelix, LLC.

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