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Nucleic Acids Res. 2004 Jul 1;32(Web Server issue):W20-5.

BLAST: at the core of a powerful and diverse set of sequence analysis tools.

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National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Building 38A, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA.


Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) is one of the most heavily used sequence analysis tools available in the public domain. There is now a wide choice of BLAST algorithms that can be used to search many different sequence databases via the BLAST web pages ( All the algorithm-database combinations can be executed with default parameters or with customized settings, and the results can be viewed in a variety of ways. A new online resource, the BLAST Program Selection Guide, has been created to assist in the definition of search strategies. This article discusses optimal search strategies and highlights some BLAST features that can make your searches more powerful.

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