Semantic Web meets Integrative Biology: a survey

H. Chen, T. Yu, J. Y. Chen
2012 Briefings in Bioinformatics  
Integrative Biology (IB) uses experimental or computational quantitative technologies to characterize biological systems at the molecular, cellular, tissue and population levels. IB typically involves the integration of the data, knowledge and capabilities across disciplinary boundaries in order to solve complex problems. We identify a series of bioinformatics problems posed by interdisciplinary integration: (i) data integration that interconnects structured data across related biomedical
more » ... s; (ii) ontology integration that brings jargons, terminologies and taxonomies from various disciplines into a unified network of ontologies; (iii) knowledge integration that integrates disparate knowledge elements from multiple sources; (iv) service integration that build applications out of services provided by different vendors. We argue that IB can benefit significantly from the integration solutions enabled by Semantic Web (SW) technologies.The SW enables scientists to share content beyond the boundaries of applications and websites, resulting into a web of data that is meaningful and understandable to any computers. In this review, we provide insight into how SW technologies can be used to build open, standardized and interoperable solutions for interdisciplinary integration on a global basis. We present a rich set of case studies in system biology, integrative neuroscience, bio-pharmaceutics and translational medicine, to highlight the technical features and benefits of SW applications in IB.
doi:10.1093/bib/bbs014 pmid:22492191 fatcat:n5xm5kbc75ethlnfwfmgwdtnhq