Bio-Ontologies as Tools for Integration in Biology

TitleBio-Ontologies as Tools for Integration in Biology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsLeonelli, Sabina
AbstractBio-ontologies are a relatively recent achievement of the bioinformatic effort toward an efficient organization and distribution of biological data. They provide a structured, controlled vocabulary through which data -especially those gathered through sequencing and genomics, but increasingly also those resulting from other types of research - can be classified in a form that can be stored in and retrieved from online databases. As Walter Gilbert predicted, back in 1991, sequencing technologies have pushed biologists to rethink their approach to sharing and using data. The opportunity to use new digital resources, especially the software and infrastructure developed within information technology as part of the Semantic Web, has strengthened the ongoing emphasis on data-driven research. Bio-ontologies play a central role in this process,by providing a common classification system to be used in any database collecting data on one or more model organisms. Tools such as the Gene Ontology and the Plant Ontology are becoming prominent standards facilitating the display of data within open-access databases and thus their circulation across research contexts.