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BLAST: An introductory tool for students to Bioinformatics Applications

Abstract

BLAST which is a sequence similarity search program is an excellent starting point for teaching bioinformatics to students and it has the potential to enhance a student’s grasp of biomedical, biochemical, and biogeochemical concepts. This article discusses the underlying concepts of the BLAST algorithm, the scores and statistics of the alignments; with illustrations using the NCBI BLAST. The article also emphasizes the need for students to be familiarized with the basic concepts and programs of bioinformatics which is a necessity in biological sciences now-a-days because of the recent advances in high-throughput techniques for data generation and analysis.

Keywords BLAST, algorithm, introductory tool, bioinformatics teaching, bioinformatics applications