The value of any kind of data is greatly enhanced when it exists in a form that allows it to be integrated with other data. One approach to integration is through the annotation of multiple bodies of data using common controlled vocabularies or ‘ontologies’. Unfortunately, the very success of this approach has led to a proliferation of ontologies which itself creates obstacles to integration. The Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) consortium has set in train a strategy to overcome this problem. Existing (...) OBO ontologies, including the Gene Ontology, are undergoing a process of coordinated reform and new ontologies being created on the basis of an evolving set of shared principles governing ontology development. The result is an expanding family of ontologies designed to be interoperable, logically well-formed, and to incorporate accurate representations of biological reality. We describe the OBO Foundry initiative, and provide guidelines for those who might wish to become involved. (shrink)
Research has indicated that microRNAs (miRNAs), a special class of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), can perform important roles in different biological and pathological processes. miRNAs’ functions are realized by regulating their respective target genes (targets). It is thus critical to identify and analyze miRNA-target interactions for a better understanding and delineation of miRNAs’ functions. However, conventional knowledge discovery and acquisition methods have many limitations. Fortunately, semantic technologies that are based on domain ontologies can render great assistance in this regard. In our (...) previous investigations, we developed a miRNA domain-specific application ontology, Ontology for MIcroRNA Target (OMIT), to provide the community with common data elements and data exchange standards in the miRNA research. This paper describes (1) our continuing efforts in the OMIT ontology development and (2) the application of the OMIT to enable a semantic approach for knowledge capture of miRNA-target interactions. (shrink)
Identification of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) has been significantly improved over the past decade. On the other hand, semantic annotation of ncRNA data is facing critical challenges due to the lack of a comprehensive ontology to serve as common data elements and data exchange standards in the field. We developed the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) to handle this situation. By providing a formally defined ncRNA controlled vocabulary, the NCRO aims to fill a specific and highly needed niche in semantic annotation of (...) large amounts of ncRNA biological and clinical data. (shrink)
Identification of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) has been significantly enhanced due to the rapid advancement in sequencing technologies. On the other hand, semantic annotation of ncRNA data lag behind their identification, and there is a great need to effectively integrate discovery from relevant communities. To this end, the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) is being developed to provide a precisely defined ncRNA controlled vocabulary, which can fill a specific and highly needed niche in unification of ncRNA biology.