GenBank & Bacillus

James P. H. Fuller jim at crom2.rn.com
Sun Nov 3 10:11:38 EST 1991


deustachio at mcclb0.med.nyu.edu writes:

> I didn't think of myself as a curmudgeon, or as ignorant of basic biology, 
> but the recent discussion of 'GenBank errors' is starting to change my mind.
>
> Could someone please tell me what conceivable biological information could be 
> gained by thinking about the differences between the collections of entries 
> retrieved by the searches 'Bacillus_subtilis', 'Bacillus AND subtilis', and 
> 'Bacillus OR subtilis'?  Or am I cramping someone's exercise of his God-given
> intellectual freedom to suggest that this is a remarkably stupid waste of a 
> supercomputer?


     If your interest is strictly in the phrase 'Bacillus subtilis,' but you
are only able to search for Bacillus AND subtilis, the dreadful risk is that
your search.output.file may be a bit bulkier that it might optimally be due to
the possibility that it includes entries containing the words 'Bacillus' and
'subtilis' appearing separately, but not the specific phrase 'Bacillus sub-
tilis' -- and that consequently you might actually be required to look at the
file with your eyeballs to extract the entries that you truely want.  Evident-
ly a significant number of people find 

    grep 'Bacillus subtilis' search.output.file 

beyond them.



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