- Abbreviation for Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, a computer program that identifies homologous genes in different organisms (such as worms, the fruit fly, mice, and humans). Homologous genes are genes in different species that share similar structures and functions. A surprisingly large proportion of the human genome shares homology with the genome of other organisms (such as the mouse, the fruit fly and even the round worm). BLAST helps by identifying the areas of homology. For example, there may be a gene in mice to do with liking (or not liking) to consume alcohol; using BLAST we can check the human genome in search of an homologous gene.
* * ** * *Basic Linear Alignment and Search Tool [algorithm]
* * *blast 'blast n1) an explosion or violent detonation2) the violent effect produced in the vicinity of an explosion that consists of a wave of increased atmospheric pressure followed by a wave of decreased atmospheric pressureblast vb
* * *n.an important cause of serious soft-tissue injury that is associated with explosions or high-velocity missiles. The eardrums, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract are especially vulnerable to the indirect effects of the blast wave.
* * *(blast) [Gr. blastos germ] 1. an immature stage in cellular development before appearance of the definitive characteristics of the cell; used also as a word termination (see -blast). 2. blast cell (def. 2).
Medical dictionary. 2011.