I'm working on a computational project in which we use BLAT to align EST sequence data to a genome. I'm still a little new to the literature, so I've got a basic question about this data.
As I understand it, ESTs are generated by using (unstable) mRNA to create (stable) cDNA. Then primers are used to generate ESTs on the order of 200 to 500 nt in length. (I gleaned this from the NCBI tutorial on ESTs.)
If the cDNA is stable and reliable and represents most if not all of an expressed gene's exons, then why even bother with ESTs? Why use 200-500 nt when the cDNA give you so much more?
If anyone has a link to a good paper on this, I'd love to see it.