Worm Breeder's Gazette 16(4): 19 (October 1, 2000)

These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

Worms on your Palm

Stephen Nurrish

MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology,University College, LondonGower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Given our technology-centric worm culture Palm pilots are now very common. What we need now is the ability to have all the info on our favourite model genetic organism at our fingertips. Consider, for instance, that you are standing in line at the grocery store and you suddenly wonder whether the CGC has a lin-49 strain. Now you can check! Or, if you are at a movie and you can't pay attention because you want to know if dpy-18 has been out crossed - you can dig out your Palm Pilot, look it up, and start watching the movie again. Or, you wake up at 3 am, the electricity is out, and you can't get back to sleep because you need to know whether dgk-1 has been cloned and where it maps to. I could go on but you get the picture.

I have generated 2 files for Palm type devices. The first contains the list of worm mutants and information about them (name, location, cosmid if cloned, other names, and phenotype/gene description). The file was originally based on macace.WG4.4-4.sea.bin [ C.elegans database without sequences 2/98] (Richard Durbin was kind enough to let me distribute the file). Essentially this file is like having the back of C.elegans II on your Palm. I've added information based on the 2000 cycle of worm meetings but it's important to realise that this file in no way replaces the much more extensive AND MORE UP-TO-DATE ACeDB and Wormbase resources. It is simply a handy and portable file that you can modify to contain the information you want at your fingertips. The 2nd file is a list of the strains available from the CGC which was current as of May 2000 (Theresa was kind enough to let me distribute the file). Both files are Filemaker Pro files (these are Mac files, I have no idea if they'll work on a PC) and to transfer them to your Palm compatible device (I have a Handspring) you need to get JFile, which is Palm shareware available for download from http://store.yahoo.com/pilotgearsw/lantec.html for $24.95. Currently my JFile files take up 2.3MB of memory. Anyone interested in obtaining these files can email me at s.nurrish@ucl.ac.uk and I'll email them back as attachments.

It's also useful because you can download the lab strains file onto the Palm and make notes about strains using your Palm device while sat at your microscope. Once you've finished you upload your comments into the lab strain collection file. It's cheaper, and smaller, than having a Mac or PC next to your scope.