Bioinformatics: Converting Data to Knowledge, Workshop by Robert Pool

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By Robert Pool

The objective of this workshop was once to compile bioinformatics stake holders from govt, academe, and for an afternoon of shows and discussion. Fifteen specialists pointed out and mentioned one of the most very important matters raised through the present flood of biologic information. themes explored integrated the significance of database curation, database integration and interoperability, consistency and criteria in terminology, errors prevention and correction, facts provenance, ontology, the significance of conserving privateness, facts mining, and the necessity for extra laptop scientists with strong point education in bioinformatics. even if formal conclusions and suggestions won't come from this actual workshop, many insights should be gleaned concerning the way forward for this box, from the context of the discussions and shows defined here.

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DATA PROVENANCE One way to ameliorate many of the problems with errors in databases, Overton said, is to keep detailed records about the data: where they came from, when they were deposited, how one gets more information about them, and any other relevant details concerning their pedigree. The approach is called “data provenance,” and it is particularly applicable to minimizing errors in data that propagate through various databases. “The idea of data provenance,” Overton said, “is that databases should describe the evidence for each piece of data, whether experimental or predicted, so you should know where the data came from.

INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM FOR BRAIN MAPPING A different way of exploiting the information in biologic databases is demonstrated by the International Consortium for Brain Mapping. The consortium is developing a database that will provide physicians and neuroscientists with a description of the structure and function of the human brain that is far more accurate and complete than anything available today. The database will be a combination of brain atlas, visualization device, clinical aid, and research tool.

Gelbart has been the principal investigator of FlyBase, the NHGRI-funded database of the genome and genetics of the fruit fly Drosophila. Among its other duties, the roughly 30-person FlyBase group is responsible for maintaining the annotation of the soon-to-be-released full sequence of the Drosophila melanogaster genome. In addition, it maintains a thorough curation of the Drosophila literature and through collaborations with other databases is involved in many projects to provide a rich set of links and relationships with information from other biologic systems.

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