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Improvements to the NCBI BLAST site for Discovery

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 — Poster Session I

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • TL Madden
  • GM Boratyn
  • C Camacho
  • PS Cooper
  • G Coulouris
  • A Fong
  • N Ma
  • WT Matten
  • SD McGinnis
  • Y Merezhuk
  • Y Raytselis
  • EW Sayers
  • T Tao
  • J Ye
  • I Zaretskaya


The Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) web site ( at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is an important resource for sequence alignments. The BLAST web site is continually evolving, and we discuss here a number of planned and recent enhancements. First, we report on the addition of "on-demand" formatting of alignments. A BLAST result may have many matches, but the user does not always need or want to view all alignments immediately. On-demand formatting of alignments allows faster loading of the initial report, with additional alignments displayed as desired. A number of usability improvements and links to other NCBI resources are included in this new BLAST report. Second, we discuss efforts to make the diverse number of BLAST search pages have a more consistent design. Third, we discuss BLAST searches against the NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRA). We describe the software infrastructure needed to maintain a search service against part of this archive as well as planned improvements. Finally, we introduce a database of metadata about BLAST databases and discuss utilities that use this database. This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, National Library of Medicine.

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