BLAST for beginners

BLAST for beginners introduces students to blastn, a commonly used tool for comparing nucleotide sequences (DNA and RNA).  This popular tutorial shows how to do a blast search with a nucleotide sequence, highlights information in the search results, and shows how to interpret the E value and alignment scores.  

The complete set of materials consists of:

  1. 1. The BLAST for beginners tutorial.
  2. 2. A set of unknown sequences.
  3. 3. A set of questions for students to answer.
  4. 4. Instructors may purchase an updated answer key from our TpT store or download a free copy by signing up for a Digital World Biology educator account.

  5. 5.  Learn about our new teachers guide: BLASTing through the Kingdom of Life Teachers Guide


Funding for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation's Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement Program under grants DUE-0088153, DUE-0127599, from Bio-Link, an NSF Advanced Technology Education Center, and from the AC2 Bio-Link Regional Center.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

***We updated both the BLAST tutorial and the Blasting through the kingdom of life activity.  August 2016.