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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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Jahn T Martin et al., A novel cost effective and high-throughput isolation and identification method for marine microalgae. Plant Methods (2014) doi:10.1186/1746-4811-10-26

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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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