annotating EST sequence information with BLAST search output

francis at NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV francis at NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV
Mon Feb 9 20:47:15 EST 1998

> To: bio-soft at
> From: Sean Eddy <eddy at>
> Subject: Re: annotating EST sequence information with BLAST search output
> Date: 09 Feb 1998 07:46:31 -0600

> francis at BORDUAS.NLM.NIH.GOV (Francis Ouellette) writes:
> > Why would one one to annotate any record with information
> > which will be out of date the day it is printed?
> > 
> > I think we would want to discourage such annotations.
> That's a valid point. But on the other hand, in many cases, the
> annotation is useful, and much of the information does not go out of
> date.

true ... and this is probably why it's been so popular an activity.
It's just that I'm not a great believer of automatic annotations ...

> > If you want to see what the record is related to, see the
> > blast similarity which are computed in dbEST or in the related
> > sequences to a record present in Entrez.  Loooking at 
> > annotations which will never be updated is missleading,
> > and uninformative.
> That's too strong a position to take, 

yes, but it does elicit good press! :)

> I think. Scanning EST
> description lines is far, far faster than clicking through to see a
> whole dbEST record for each EST. Description lines should contain our
> "best effort" to give a short description of the EST.

yes, I agree ... it is faster, but what I question is what does it mean
when you find you have something which is similar to somothing which is
imilar to a homologue of something else?

> It's a user education problem to make sure people realize that those
> description lines are bound to be outdated, and that they may be
> misleading. But "uninformative" they're not, in my opinion.

they can be, but I agree .. the buyer must be aware ... and as a
'seller', I definitly should tell people to be careful.

** Be careful when reading DEFINITION lines of EST records, they can be
** informative, but they can also be misleading, and/or out of date!

regards to all,


| B.F. Francis Ouellette  
| GenBank Coordinator
| francis at   

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