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Sequence alignments provide a powerful way to compare novel sequences with previously characterized genes. Both functional and evolutionary information can be inferred from well designed queries and alignments. BLAST 2.0, (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool), provides a method for rapid searching of nucleotide and protein databases. Since the BLAST algorithm detects local as well as global alignments, regions of similarity embedded in otherwise unrelated proteins can be detected.

For more information see the NCBI-Blast homepage.