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APPENDIX A The Internet and Electronic Arabidopsis Information Resources

J. Michael Cherry


The ability of public resources to collect, maintain, and electronically distribute information on Arabidopsis is expanding with each passing year. There are two major reasons for this change. First, the worldwide Internet computer network has become a ubiquitous feature of the academic and industrial biological research environment. Second, several software development efforts have devised simple but effective software that enables users to search for and retrieve information. Much of this new software has been designed specifically to allow academic information to be distributed freely and easily. This chapter presents a very brief introduction to the Internet and some useful software, and a summary of the specific electronic resources available to the Arabidopsis community.

The Internet computer network is a worldwide collection of networks using a common mechanism to allow computers to communicate. Each of the participating networks is initially built and subsequently maintained by the institution it serves. A university network is a small version of the Internet. For example, a group of computers are linked together on a floor of a building. This group or network is then linked to other floors, thus creating an inter-network or internet. The building’s network is further linked to the main university network where many other building and dormitory networks are also connected. The worldwide Internet is simply the interconnection of national and regional networks that contain academic and commercial networks. Just as a university network allows communication between the different buildings on campus, the Internet allows communication...

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