As you probably know, BLAST has been offering a new results page as an option for standard BLAST for you to test and provide feedback since April. See our post from earlier this spring for more details. We have just added new results pages (Figure 1) for the following four specialized BLAST services for you to test.
BLAST is a powerful search tool, but often a search is just the beginning of the journey. We put ourselves in the shoes of a researcher who has just sequenced a handful of samples from the latest viral outbreak and tried to understand what information would be most useful. We also reached out to researchers in the field and asked: a) what questions do they really want to answer? and b) how can NCBI best provide the answers? Based on insights from those questions and answers, we developed the new Virus Sequence Search Interface (Fig. 1). The Search Interface is an NCBI Labs project, which means it is an experimental project, and we may modify the resource based on your feedback and experiences.
In the next NCBI Minute on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, NCBI staff will demonstrate the new QuickBLASTP service that can search large databases at least 10X faster than traditional protein-protein BLAST (blastp). You will learn about the strategy QuickBLASTP uses to speed up the search. You will also see how to use the new QuickBLASTP service on the NCBI web BLAST site and how to access and run the standalone kblastp demonstration release.
Date & time: Wed, Jan 10, 2018 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EST
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about attending the webinar. A few days after the live presentation, you can view the recording on the NCBI YouTube channel. You can learn about future webinars on the Webinars and Courses page.
QuickBLASTP, an accelerated version of BLASTP, adds a new pre-processing step to the non-redundant (nr) protein database. In a matter of seconds, QuickBLASTP will find approximately 97% of the database sequences with 70% or more identity to your query and around 98% of the database sequence with 80% or more identity to your query.
BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool) is a popular tool for finding sequences in a given database that are similar to a query sequence. Traditionally, BLAST displays these results as a sorted list of matches between the query and each database sequence. While this display is useful for examining how each subject sequence matches the query, it treats all subject sequences the same, regardless of the quality of the sequence data or its annotation, and also does not allow easy comparisons between different subject sequences.
For example, the subject sequences may fall into multiple groups of similar sequences, or all of the subject sequences may be more similar to each other than to the query. A common way to obtain this information is to construct a multiple sequence alignment of the query and some or all of the subject sequences, but to this point, BLAST has not provided such alignments directly.
Enter SmartBLAST! SmartBLAST is a new and experimental NCBI tool that makes it easier to complete common sequence analysis tasks, such as finding a candidate protein name for a sequence, locating regions of high sequence conservation, or identifying regions covered by database sequences but missing from the query.