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Bioinformatics and drug discovery
May 2016
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CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—New research published in the Journal of Biomedical Semantics shows how clinical knowledge can be incorporated into bioinformatics software for the task of drug target discovery. Traditionally, bioinformaticians derive data from laboratory experiments, but this research shows that it is possible to include clinical expertise alongside experimental data. A team from the European Bioinformatics Institute and the Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation interviewed expert clinicians with the aim of capturing and including their experience in how phenotypes were related to autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease. This knowledge was then mapped into the ontologies used for bioinformatics alongside other relevant data such as genetic variations studies.
 
Dr. James Malone, CEO of FactBio and senior author of the research, said: “As bioinformaticians we have traditionally used a range of laboratory based resources such as genomics, proteomics and other supporting technologies. However, this new approach will allow us to move from the laboratory into the clinic, using not just data but also the knowledge of those working in the clinic to improve our understanding of biology.”

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