Capturing Context: Data and Metadata in Metagenomics

Event Sponsor: 
Computation Institute Disciplinary Deep Dive Series (3-D) on Language and Computation
Start Date: 
Apr 22 2008 (All day)
Research Institute, 5640 S. Ellis Ave.,Room 480
University of Chicago
Lynette Hirschman
Speaker(s) Title: 
Director, Biomedical Informatics, Information Technology Center at MITRE Corporation

As our understanding of complex interactions in ecosystems grows, so too does the importance of capturing the context in which these interactions occur. Metagenomics is making it possible to sequence environmental samples and to learn what's out there -to identify organisms that were previously unknown because they live within a complex community of highly interdependent organisms and could not be cultured in isolation.

For these experiments, identifying the genes in the sample is the primary data -- but the metadata captures the context -- information about sample source, environmental conditions, co-occurring species (or at least genes), and experimental methods. The challenge for bioinformaticians (and computer scientists) is to support capture of metadata and provide a computable semantics.

Miscellaneous Information: 

Note: Refreshments will be served following talk