Accessing Databases

What is Redundancy?

A key concept in comparing databases is the issue of redundancy. Many databases try to be "non-redundant". Unfortunately, biological data is too complex to fit a simple definition of redundancy. Are two alleles of the same locus redundant? Two isozymes in the same organism? The same locus in two closely related organisms? Hence, each "non-redundant" database has its own definition of redundancy. Some use automated measures, while others use manual culling; the former are amenable to large projects, the latter give higher quality. Other databases don't attempt to be non-redundant, but rather sacrifice this goal in favor of ensuring completeness.


This document is intended to serve as a guide to using certain bioinformatics programs. It cannot be guaranteed to be free of errors or completely up-to-date. If you know of errors or other shortcomings of this document, please mail them to Keith Robison (Church Lab, HMS Genetics)