Gene sequence data is the most abundant type of data available, and there is a rich array of computational methods and tools that can help analyze patterns within that data. This book brings together the detailed terms, definitions, and command-line options found in the key databases and tools used in sequence analysis. It's meant for use by bioinformaticians in both industry and academia, as well as students. This book is a handy resource and an invaluable reference for anyone who needs to know about the practical aspects and mechanics of sequence analysis.
It's no coincidence that the gene sequences of related species of plants, animals, and microorganisms show complex patterns of similarity to one another. This is one of the most fascinating aspects of the study of evolution. In fact, many molecular biologists are convinced that an understanding of sequence evolution is the first step toward understanding evolution itself. The comparison of gene sequences, or biological sequence analysis, is one of the processes used to understand sequence evolution. It is an important discipline within computational biology and bioinformatics.
If you're new to the field, this book won't teach you how to perform sequence analysis, but it will help you sort out the details of the common tools and data sources used for sequence analysis. If sequence analysis is part of your daily lives (as it is for us), you'll want this easy-to-use book on your desk. We've included many references (especially URLs) for further information on the tools we document, but with this book handy we hope you won't need to use them.