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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, January 1994; 5(5)

GDB Forum

Search GDB and OMIM via E-mail

GDB and OMIM can be searched via e-mail by sending a query to No subject line is necessary when querying mailserv. The e-mail server uses the Wide Area Information Server (WAIS) for all searches. WAIS locates and ranks documents according to frequency of use of query terms and their appearance in the title.

Valid Commands
A single e-mail message can contain an unlimited number of commands. The results of all commands, except help, will be sent in a single message. Valid commands include the following:

  • HELP: Requests the mailserv helpfile document, which is mailed separately if help is alone on a line within the body of the message. The help document lists all valid commands and search strategies.
  • SEARCH [database] [keywords]: Searches the specified database for the occurrence of one or more keywords. Only one database can be specified per e-mail line. Examples: search omim marfan; search gdb-citation marfan.
  • GET [GDB or OMIM Accession number]: Retrieves a specific document from GDB or OMIM. Accession numbers are returned when a keyword search is performed so the exact document may be retrieved. Database need not be specified because GDB and OMIM have different accession numbers. The first example retrieves a GDB document and the second an OMIM document: (1) get G00-000-123; (2) get 193005.
  • DONE: Instructs the mailserv program to ignore all lines following.

Databases Available

  • gdb-citation - Articles and abstracts
  • gdb-contact - Scientist contact information
  • gdb-locus - Genetic loci
  • gdb-map - Genetic maps
  • gdb-mutation - Genetic mutations
  • gdb-polym - Genetic polymorphisms
  • gdb-probe - Genetic probes
  • gdb - Superset of the above (searches all the gdb-* databases)
  • omim - Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man

Example Query
The following example query will return one message with the help file and a second message with all the search results.

  • To:
  • Subject: help search gdb-citation marfan search omim marfan done

GDB Enters New Genethon Data

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and microsatellite data have been loaded into GDB from the latest set of highly informative Genethon markers. Records in this set consist of over 1200 new cloned probes, PCR probes, polymorphisms, and loci complete with PCR conditions and allele-frequency information.

To access this data in GDB, first retrieve the GDB ID# G00-230-332, then call the Locus, Probe, or Polymorphism Manager.

GDB User Support, Registration

To become a registered user of GDB and OMIM, contact one of the User Support offices listed below (a user may register to access both Baltimore and a remote node). Questions, problems, or user-registration requests may be sent by telephone, fax, or e-mail. User-registration requests should include name, institutional affiliation, and title (if applicable), street address (no P.O. box numbers), telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address.

The Help Line in Baltimore is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST for information on accounts and training courses, technical support, and data questions. Calls received after hours will be forwarded to the appropriate voice mail and returned as soon as possible. To obtain a user's local SprintNet (Telenet) number for locations within the United States: 800/736-1130.

GDB, OMIM Training Schedule
Contact U.S. GDB User Support Office. General User Classes will be held in Baltimore on April 18- 19 and June 13-14.

User Support Offices

GDB User Support
Genome Data Base
Johns Hopkins University
2024 E. Monument Street
Baltimore, MD 21205-2100
Fax: /614-0434

Otto Ritter
Molecular Biophysics Dept.
German Cancer Research Center
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
D-6900 Heidelberg Germany
Fax: -2333

Christine Bates
Human Gene Mapping Program
Resource Center
CRC, Watford Road
Harrow, Middx HA1, 3UJ
United Kingdom
Fax: -3807

GDB User Support
Faculty of Science
University of Nijmegen
P.O. Box 9010
+ 31/80-653391
Fax: -652977

Alex Reisner
Electrical Eng. Bldg. J03
University of Sydney
Sydney, N.S.W. 2006
+ 61/2-692-2948
Fax: -3847

GDB User Support
Biomedical Center
Box 570
S-751 23 Uppsala
+ 46/18-174057
Fax: -524869

New Version of GDB/Accessor Available

The new version of GDB/Accessor, called 5.2 to match the GDB version, includes the following enhancements:

  • Faster startup and searching,
  • Capability for specifying default servers for GDB and other databases,
  • Command key shortcuts for printing (Cmd-P), using Probe Query Screen (Cmd-R), and canceling queries or reports in progress (Cmd-.),
  • Meeting abstracts available as type of citation, and
  • Progress information display when generating reports.

Current GDB/Accessor users can get the new 5.2 version by following the directions below.

  1. Start up current version. Notice will appear that new version is available.
  2. Choose Update from the Special menu. New program will be automatically downloaded from Gopher.
  3. UnBinHex new 5.2 application.
  4. Quit old version and start up new version.

GDB/Accessor is available via ftp ( in pub/mac/accessor directory. For more information, contact GDB User Support.


Return to Table of Contents

The electronic form of the newsletter may be cited in the following style:
Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v5n5).

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international 13-year effort, 1990 to 2003. Primary goals were to discover the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study, and determine the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. See Timeline for more HGP history.

Human Genome News

Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.