Given that tomorrow (Monday October 3) the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine will be announced, I am linking to my 2-year old post arguing that BLAST deserves a Nobel Prize:
In terms of impact in the field, it’s undeniable that BLAST has been huge. These people created a verb! What modern biologist does not know what “blasting a sequence” means? The BLAST paper was, at one point, the most highly cited paper in history. The impact on physiology is undeniable.
[One] counterargument I’ve heard is that BLAST is mostly a method, but so was GFP […] Does anybody believe that just the 1962 discovery of a jellyfish protein would have sufficed for a Nobel?
BLAST was definitely one of the most largest advances in the field of physiology in the last few decades. For this reason, David Lipman and Gene Myers should get a Physiology and Medicine Nobel Prize.
I also add that current favorite CRISPR is also mostly a method (the CRISPR Prize, when it comes, will be awarded for the method not the discovery of some DNA processing mechanism in a Streptococcus species.