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Background: While keyword based queries of databases such as Pubmed are frequently of great utility, the ability to use regular expressions in place of a keyword can often improve the results output by such databases. Regular expressions can allow for the identification of element types that cannot be readily specified by a single keyword and can allow for different words with similar character sequences to be distinguished.

Results: A Perl based utility was developed to allow the use of regular expressions in Pubmed searches, thereby improving the accuracy of the searches.

Conclusion: This utility was then utilized to create a comprehensive listing of all DFN deafness mutations discussed in Pubmed records containing the keywords "human ear".


© 2007 Frenz; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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