The searching power associated with the Arabidopsis Research Companion
have been improved. All of these improvements are the result of work
by Don Gilbert (Indiana University) and Tim Gauslin (USGS). The three
WAIS databases provided by the Arabidopsis Research Companion are the
Arabidopsis thaliana Genome Database (AAtDB), Arabidopsis BioSci/MSU
electronic conference archive and the Caenorhabditis elegans Genome
Don Gilbert has improved the ability to search WAIS indexed databases
by extending the power of the WAIS software. The 'and' and 'not'
search modifiers, partial words using wildcards, and literal phrases
provide increased power to craft a specific question of these
Below are Don Gilbert's examples that explain these new features:
Search Modifiers: The terms 'and' and 'not' are effective in modifying
the query. For example:
Query: red and green not blue
Result: just those records with both the words 'red' and 'green',
excluding all records with the word 'blue'.
Partial words: The asterisk (*) applied at the end of a partial word
will match all documents with words that start with the partial word.
Result: all records with 'hum', 'hummingbird', 'human',
Literal phrases: If quotes (') or double quotes (\") surrounding a
phrase, it will match that phrase exactly. For example,
Query: 'red rooster-39'
Result: only those records with the the full string
'red rooster-39' will be matched.
There are some practical limits on this. The first part of a literal
phrase must be a word that is otherwise indexed. Thus your literal
cannot start with a symbol or other word delimiter. Within quotes,
the search modifiers (and and not) and the partial word wildcard are
Here are a few examples that might be of use to the Arabidopsis
tt4 and ttg
ethylene and muta* and 199*
light and harvesting
dwarf* and flower
Hints: The WAIS software provides an index of every word, except for
words that appear more than 20,000 times. Because the search occurs
very fast it is reasonable to start small with a general question then
procede to more specific questions. Also because of the variability in
english it is good to try the '*' wildcard to match several forms of a
word. For example: dwarf* will match dwarf, dwarfs and dwarf-like.
The Arabidopsis Research Companion is a Internet Gopher server that is
available from the host weeds.mgh.harvard.edu. The three WAIS
databases mentioned above are available from weeds.mgh.harvard.edu and
the database names are:
AAtDB An Arabidopsis thaliana Database
ACEDB A Caenorhabditis elegans Database
Arabidopsis-BioSci ARAB-GEN BioSci mailing list plus all messages
from the original MSU Arabidopsis mailing list.
If you do not have either Gopher or WAIS client software a public
access account is available via the Internet telnet command. Here is
$ telnet ochre.mgh.harvard.edu
If you need more information or have suggestions please contact the
AAtDB group via email at curator at frodo.mgh.harvard.edu or via FAX at