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Bioinformatics. 2000 Apr;16(4):301-12.

GABAagent: a system for integrating data on GABA receptors.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Abstract

MOTIVATION:

Scientific data pertaining to GABA receptors, which are of medical importance, are widely scattered throughout numerous heterogeneous Internet resources. This situation has made the integrated acquisition of such data difficult and substantially time consuming even for researchers who are Internet aficionados. Thus, there exists a genuine need for the development of Internet applications, such as GABAagent, which provide efficient and timely access to concise and integrated information.

RESULTS:

We report here the establishment of a novel server (GABAagent) which has been written in Perl script, and which is freely accessible through the Internet. GABAagent is designed to assist researchers in retrieving focused and integrated information related to GABA receptors from various public domain databases. GABAagent relies on server-side flat-file databases that have been created through data mining from Internet sources such as the PubMed, DDBJ, SWISS-PROT and TrEMBL, in addition to the many World Wide Web (Web) sites which are accessible through Excite (E-Web). These warehouse databases are regularly updated and contain among other things, information concerning: (i) GABA receptor publications, (ii) DNA and protein sequences and (iii) the contents of related E-Web sites along with their addresses. Our system also provides hard links to the above-mentioned Web sites and E-Web sites; the feature which adds to it the character of virtual federation type of database. The current version of GABAagent provides two user-friendly services. The first is a search engine possessing intelligent query reformulation support (GABAengine), the second an elaborate email alert service was designed into the system (GABAalert). The GABAengine allows the user to search server-side databases exclusively for GABA receptor-related queries. Whereas, GABAalert allows the user, by means of subscription, to receive immediate and/or monthly updates automatically.

AVAILABILITY:

GABAagent is freely accessible at the following Web address http://www.ust.hk/gaba.

PMID:
10869028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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