The latest e-TOC from the journal Bioinformatics contains an application note on a really cool tool. ProTag is a Microsoft Office extension that uses biological name and markup services called ProThesaurus and LiMB to find protein names and database identifiers in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents. From there, you can perform a range of actions on that text, all without ever leaving the Office. So, for instance, if you type the phrase ?TIM4_HUMAN is the SwissProt identifier for tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 4? in Word and wait a few seconds, the program will underline the terms TIM4_HUMAN and ?tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 4?. Right-clicking on either term pulls up a context sensitive menu that allows you to pull up (and insert) related synonyms, database accession numbers, Life Science Identifiers, and Web database records (eg., from HUGO or SWISSPROT), all without the annoying cut-and-paste, browser-switching dance we?ve all gotten used...
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