It started as a way to blow off a little steam during a late night in the lab. I was a mere graduate student in 1992, doing what I was told, probing the GenBank DNA database for conserved promoter sequences. I was still learning, and after days of searching (which never yielded any significant results), I started tinkering with software. I found a protein database that also could be searched by using a tool called BLAST. I knew nothing of BLAST, but it was late and I wanted to hunt for something fun, something different. So, I turned on the radio, which was banned during the day but could be blasted (forgive me) in the wee hours.

Sometimes you hear weird things on the radio at night, as I did that night – a song called "Elvis is Everywhere." "Everybody in outer space looks like Elvis 'cause Elvis is a...

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