As a group, the authors would like to thank O'Reilly & Associates for their patience and support, and especially their editor Lorrie LeJeune. The book owes a lot to its technical reviewers: Scott Markel, Tony Palombella, and staff of the NCBI. Special thanks go out to Scott McGinnis, Tom Madden, and Stephen Altschul for all their insightful comments.


I thank my wife Karen (whose critical comments improved the readability of the book) and daughter Zoe for putting up with the extra hours required to write this book. (Sorry, I had no idea it was going to take this much time.) I'd also like to thank my former mentors, especially Warren Gish and Susan Strome, for their scientific guidance and high standards. Writing a book in the wee hours can be arduous work, so I appreciate Apple Computer for making things simple and WeakLazyLiar and Trespassers William for musical companionship. My coauthors deserve a lot of credit for tolerating my tyranny and helping to make a dream come true. Lastly, I'd like to say a special thanks to Mom and Dad.


Thanks to my coauthors, Ian and Joey. Special thanks to Stephen Altschul for all his patience with my frequent telephone calls and emails, and to Tom Madden for help with the BLAST code. I'd also like to thank Karen Eilbeck for putting up with me; Suzi Lewis for her patience; and yes, Martin, it is finished now! Finally, I'd like to dedicate my portion of the book to Dr. Marc Perry for showing me my first BLAST report.


If you are reading this, it means that I'm an O'Reilly author?wow! I'd like to first and foremost thank O'Reilly for putting out a great line of books that have allowed me to make the transition from the bench to the keyboard and, ultimately, to the bookshelves! I also thank my coauthors, Ian and Mark. It is truly amazing that we were able to put this together without even being on the same continent for the last year and a half. This is a testament to Ian's great organizational skills, his grand (yet ever-changing) vision for the book, and his unrelenting quest for perfection. I thank my wife Alison and daughter Lauren for their love and support. Thanks for putting up with the late BLAST nights and early BLAST mornings. I owe you both a lot for your patience and understanding.

Finally, I'd like to thank the members of the Blueberry Hill dart league for their support and friendship.

I'd like to dedicate this book to the memory of David Jagor and to the BBBs, the best group of friends a guy could have!