BLAST is the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool.
The BLAST is an advanced software package developed in 1989 at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) for finding similarities between two sequences. This software has "become the single most important piece of software in the field of bioinformatics." 
- There is an excellent book by O'Reilly Publishing that covers the different versions of BLAST and all the associated variables and concepts. It can be ordered from [the O'Reilly website. http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596002992]
- BLAST tutorial at NCBI
- BLAST for beginners at GeoSpiza
- OpenWetWare BLAST article
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