I see where Tim Berners-Lee expects the next explosion in use of the Semantic web to be in the field of life sciences.
The Semantic Web “will give scientists and other users unexpected help and serendipitous added value from others’ data,” Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), said at the Fourth Annual Bio-IT World Conference and Expo in Boston
He went on to say
Life scientists in particular could find the Semantic Web a useful tool, and in so doing, “provide leadership to lots of other fields” in implementing this next-generation Web technology, Berners-Lee said. “At the moment, I see a huge amount of energy from people in life sciences, getting excited by the Semantic Web and what it can do to solve the big-idea problems.”
Dr. John Breslin, of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway has written and spoken extensively about the semantic web so I look forward to finding out from him first-hand just exactly what the semantic web is when he comes to the Blogging for Business event on the 9th of June.
If you find the concept of the semantic web hard to understand (I know I do), you are not alone – even Tim Berners-Lee admits that the concept is “quite difficult to explain.”
3 thoughts on “The Semantic web and life sciences”
Semantic Web (to me) means that theres just one necessary presentation layer to all – techies, beginners, laymen AND computers / programs. Yet that presentation layer can appear very different – CSS for web pages, binary wrapping for word docs, compressed XML for openoffice, etc. ad nauseum. You mark up your data once – as XML / XHTML (preferrably :] ) and it can easily be converted (without [much] user intervention) into anydesired format.
nicely put Lee. That clarifies it very well, I think.
Now, do you know any interesting implementations of it?
For a Drug Discovery focused (pharmaceutics) prototype of a semantic web app, check out http://www.w3.org/2005/04/swls/BioDash/Demo/ . It’s not a full implementation of SW, but it could form the basis of one in the life sciences.
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