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Recent improvements to the NCBI BLAST service

Friday, September 16, 2016 — Poster Session IV

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • G Boratyn
  • C Camacho
  • A Fong
  • Y Merezhuk
  • T Rackers
  • Y Raytselis
  • J Ye
  • I Zaretskaya
  • P Cooper
  • W Matten
  • S McGinnis
  • T Tao
  • TL Madden


Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) is the most popular sequence similarity search tool. BLAST is a versatile tool that can search nucleotide or protein queries against either a protein or nucleotide database, translating the query or database as needed. The National Center for Biotechnology Information offers a number of ways to perform BLAST searches. First, the NCBI BLAST webpage is popular among users wishing to run a few searches. It offers a number of display options and links to other resources at the NCBI. Second, the stand-alone BLAST package allows power users to run searches on their own workstations or clusters. The standalone package also supports a large number of different types of reports. Finally, the NCBI offers a version of BLAST available at several cloud services. This offers access to a powerful computing environment without the expense of purchasing and maintaining hardware. We report on a number of BLAST improvements. We discuss recent changes to the NCBI BLAST webpage including an updated BLAST home page, a new fast protein search with SmartBLAST, and an updated taxonomy report. Additionally, the BLAST databases have been updated to better match user needs. We also discuss stand-alone BLAST changes including new report formats and improved multithreading utilization. This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, National Library of Medicine.

Category: Computational Biology