Gary A. Thompson

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For the biologist, the bioinformatic analysis of genes requires the compilation of tables of gene characteristics. To do this, data is often taken manually out of databases in an ad hoc fashion. Different databases (TIGR, MIPS, BLAIR, and NCBI, for example) give different outputs in different formats. We would like to be able to extract information from the databases in a common, structured file format in a way that allows for easy rearranging and processing of the data. The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is being used increasingly to represent semi-structured data and transmit it over the Internet. XML data is data that is marked up by tags in a manner similar to those in the Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML). For example, the following code shows one way of using XML to mark up the protein with accession number "BAA03739.1". It is taken from the National Center... (more)