"General Feature Format", a file format for biological data. It's designed for easy transfer of information about genetic features in a sequence, and does this in a very simple fashin. The format consists of several fields, separated by tabs. The first field is the name of the feature, the second the source of the data, the third the type of feature being noted (such as a splice site, a gene or a transposon), the fourth the base at which the feature starts, the fifth the base at which the feature ends, the sixth contans scoring information (when appropriate), the seventh which strand of the dna the feature is located on, the eighth the degree of frame shifting and the ninth additional tagging data.

The format is not designed to be full-featured, but rather to be easily manipulatable (awk and grep can be used to good effect) and to contain pertinent information. It's pleasantly easy to work with. Replacement formats will probably have more features and are likely to be in xml, which will doubtless be fun.

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