Project

FAIRDOM

Goal: FAIRDOM is an initiative to develop a community, and establish an internationally sustained Data and Model Management service to the European Systems Biology community. FAIRDOM is a joint action of ERA-Net EraSysAPP and European Research Infrastructure ISBE.
For more information about FAIRDOM please visit http://fair-dom.org

Methods: Systems Biology, Ontology, Research Data Management

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Olga Krebs
added a research item
Chemical named entity recognition (NER) is a significant step for many downstream applications like entity linking for the chemical text-mining pipeline. However, the identification of chemical entities in a biomedical text is a challenging task due to the diverse morphology of chemical entities and the different types of chemical nomenclature. In this work, we describe our approach that was submitted for BioCreative version 7 challenge Track 2, focusing on the "Chemical Identification" task for identifying chemical entities and entity linking, using MeSH. For this purpose, we have applied a two-stage approach as follows (a) usage of fine-tuned BioBERT for identification of chemical entities (b) semantic approximate search in MeSH and PubChem databases for entity linking. There was some friction between the two approaches, as our rule-based approach did not harmonise optimally with partially recognized words forwarded by the BERT component. For our future work, we aim to resolve the issue of the artefacts arising from BERT tokenizers and develop joint learning of chemical named entity recognition and entity linking using pretrained transformer-based models and compare their performance with our preliminary approach. Next, we will improve the efficiency of our approximate search in reference databases during entity linking. This task is non-trivial as it entails determining similarity scores of large sets of trees with respect to a query tree. Ideally, this will enable flexible parametrization and rule selection for the entity linking search.
Olga Krebs
added 2 research items
A limited number of publicly available resources provide access to enzyme kinetic parameters. These have been compiled through manual data mining of published papers, not from the original, raw experimental data from which the parameters were calculated. This is largely due to the lack of software or standards to support the capture, analysis, storage and dissemination of such experimental data. Introduced here is an integrative system to manage experimental enzyme kinetics data from instrument to browser. The approach is based on two interrelated databases: the existing SABIO-RK database, containing kinetic data and corresponding metadata, and the newly introduced experimental raw data repository, MeMo-RK. Both systems are publicly available by web browser and web service interfaces and are configurable to ensure privacy of unpublished data. Users of this system are provided with the ability to view both kinetic parameters and the experimental raw data from which they are calculated, providing increased confidence in the data. A data analysis and submission tool, the kineticswizard, has been developed to allow the experimentalist to perform data collection, analysis and submission to both data resources. The system is designed to be extensible, allowing integration with other manufacturer instruments covering a range of analytical techniques.
Olga Krebs
added 3 research items
Motivation: In the Life Sciences, guidelines, checklists and ontologies describing what metadata is required for the interpretation and reuse of experimental data are emerging. Data producers, however, may have little experience in the use of such standards and require tools to support this form of data annotation. Results: RightField is an open source application that provides a mechanism for embedding ontology annotation support for Life Science data in Excel spreadsheets. Individual cells, columns or rows can be restricted to particular ranges of allowed classes or instances from chosen ontologies. The RightField-enabled spreadsheet presents selected ontology terms to the users as a simple drop-down list, enabling scientists to consistently annotate their data. The result is 'semantic annotation by stealth', with an annotation process that is less error-prone, more efficient, and more consistent with community standards. Availability and implementation: RightField is open source under a BSD license and freely available from http://www.rightfield.org.uk
We have developed an online model constructor and validator called OneStop, which is compliant with SBGN, SBML and MIRIAM standards. Key features of OneStop are: 1) a human readable input form (in addition to SBML upload and saving); 2) live visualization (SBGN graphics) of the reaction network during the construction phase; and 3) online access from any machine with a compatible browser. Sophisticated error feedback simplifies the debugging process during model construction significantly and guides the efforts of new users in a step by step fashion. OneStop is seamlessly integrated with the JWS Online model repository and simulator and also facilitates the importation of models from the BioModels database. In addition, OneStop is part of the SysMO-SEEK platform, which is used for data and model management in the Pan-European SysMO consortium.
Olga Krebs
added 2 research items
Systems biology research is typically performed by multidisciplinary groups of scientists, often in large consortia and in distributed locations. The data generated in these projects tend to be heterogeneous and often involves high-throughput “omics” analyses. Models are developed iteratively from data generated in the projects and from the literature. Consequently, there is a growing requirement for exchanging experimental data, mathematical models, and scientific protocols between consortium members and a necessity to record and share the outcomes of experiments and the links between data and models. The overall output of a research consortium is also a valuable commodity in its own right. The research and associated data and models should eventually be available to the whole community for reuse and future analysis.
The interpretation and integration of experimental data depends on consistent metadata and uniform annotation. However, there are many barriers to the acquisition of this rich semantic metadata, not least the overhead and complexity of its collection by scientists. We present RightField, a lightweight spreadsheet-based annotation tool for lowering the barrier of manual metadata acquisition; and a data integration application for extracting and querying RDF data from these enriched spreadsheets. By hiding the complexities of semantic annotation, we can improve the collection of rich metadata, at source, by scientists. We illustrate the approach with results from the SysMO program, showing that RightField supports the whole workflow of semantic data collection, submission and RDF querying in Systems Biology. The RightField tool is freely available from http://www.rightfield.org.uk, and the code is open source under the BSD License.
Alan Williams
added a research item
Data-driven research requires many people from different domains to collaborate efficiently. The domain scientist collects and analyzes scientific data, the data scientist develops new techniques, and the tool developer implements, optimizes and maintains existing techniques to be used throughout science and industry. Today, however, this data science expertise lies fragmented in loosely connected communities and scattered over many people, making it very hard to find the right expertise, data and tools at the right time. Collaborations are typically small and cross-domain knowledge transfer through the literature is slow. Although progress has been made, it is far from easy for one to build on the latest results of the other and collaborate effortlessly across domains. This slows down data-driven research and innovation, drives up costs and exacerbates the risks associated with the inappropriate use of data science techniques. We propose to create an open, online collaboration platform, a ‘collaboratory’ for data-driven research, that brings together data scientists, domain scientists and tool developers on the same platform. It will enable data scientists to evaluate their latest techniques on many current scientific datasets, allow domain scientists to discover which techniques work best on their data, and engage tool developers to share in the latest developments. It will change the scale of collaborations from small to potentially massive, and from periodic to real-time. This will be an inclusive movement operating across academia, healthcare, and industry, and empower more students to engage in data science.
Martin Golebiewski
added 2 research items
A recent community survey conducted by Infrastructure for Systems Biology Europe (ISBE) informs requirements for developing an efficient infrastructure for systems biology standards, data and model management. © 2015 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.
Reconstructing and understanding the Human Physiome virtually is a complex mathematical problem, and a highly demanding computational challenge. Mathematical models spanning fromthemolecular level through to whole populations of individuals must be integrated, then personalized. This requires interoperability with multiple disparate and geographically separated data sources, and myriad computational software tools. Extracting and producing knowledge fromsuch sources, evenwhen the databases and software are readily available, is a challenging task. Despite the difficulties, researchers must frequently perform these tasks so that available knowledge can be continually integrated into the commonframework required to realize theHumanPhysiome. Software and infrastructures that support the communities that generate these, together with their underlying standards to format, describe and interlink the corresponding data and computer models, are pivotal to the Human Physiome being realized. They provide the foundations for integrating, exchanging and re-using data andmodels efficiently, and correctly,while also supporting the dissemination of growing knowledge in these forms. In this paper, we explore the standards, software tooling, repositories and infrastructures that support this work, and detail what makes them vital to realizing the Human Physiome. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Olga Krebs
added an update
ERA CoBioTec (https://www.cobiotech.eu/) , in collaboration with FAIRDOM, will provide data and model management support to all participating projects.In accordance with the ERA CoBioTech call, the full proposal stage will require a section of the application dedicated to data and model management.To help applicants prepare their proposals, and to learn more about the data management needs of the participating projects, FAIRDOM will host a series of webinars.Dates for webinars will be:Thu, Feb 2, 2017 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM CETTue, Feb 7, 2017 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM CETTo register for the webinar(s) please go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/6758494946273200641.The webinars will be organised as a 1 hour session and cover what FAIRDOM and its central data management services offer, what FAIRDOM would need in terms of collaboration to deliver the best service possible, as well as a checklist of data and model management topics to be covered in the proposal. This informative session will then be followed by an hour open for questions, discussions, suggestions with the possibility for scheduling breakout sessions.
 
Olga Krebs
added 2 research items
RightField is a Java application that provides a mechanism for embedding ontology annotation support for scientific data in Microsoft Excel or Open Office spreadsheets. The result is semantic annotation by stealth, with an annotation process that is less error-prone, more efficient, and more consistent with community standards. By automatically generating RDF statements for each cell a rich, Linked Data querying environment allows scientists to search their data and other Linked Data resources interchangeably, and caters for queries across heterogeneous spreadsheets. RightField has been developed for Systems Biologists but has since adopted more widely. It is open source (BSD license) and freely available from http://www.rightfield.org.uk.
The Computational Modeling in Biology Network (COMBINE) is an initiative to coordinate the development of community standards and formats in computational systems biology and related fields. This report summarizes the topics and activities of the fourth edition of the annual COMBINE meeting that took place in Paris September 16-20 2013, and hosted a total of 96 attendees. This edition pioneered a first day devoted to modeling approaches in biology, attracting a broad audience of scientists with a panel of renowned speakers. During the other days, discussions took place about novel standard features, new tools using the standards, and outreaching efforts. A great deal of emphasis went into extensions of the SBML format as packages, and also community building. This year’s edition showed again that the COMBINE community is thriving, and manages well the coordination of the different standard formats.
Olga Krebs
added 2 research items
Background Systems biology research typically involves the integration and analysis of heterogeneous data types in order to model and predict biological processes. Researchers therefore require tools and resources to facilitate the sharing and integration of data, and for linking of data to systems biology models. There are a large number of public repositories for storing biological data of a particular type, for example transcriptomics or proteomics, and there are several model repositories. However, this silo-type storage of data and models is not conducive to systems biology investigations. Interdependencies between multiple omics datasets and between datasets and models are essential. Researchers require an environment that will allow the management and sharing of heterogeneous data and models in the context of the experiments which created them. Results The SEEK is a suite of tools to support the management, sharing and exploration of data and models in systems biology. The SEEK platform provides an access-controlled, web-based environment for scientists to share and exchange data and models for day-to-day collaboration and for public dissemination. A plug-in architecture allows the linking of experiments, their protocols, data, models and results in a configurable system that is available 'off the shelf'. Tools to run model simulations, plot experimental data and assist with data annotation and standardisation combine to produce a collection of resources that support analysis as well as sharing. Underlying semantic web resources additionally extract and serve SEEK metadata in RDF (Resource Description Format). SEEK RDF enables rich semantic queries, both within SEEK and between related resources in the web of Linked Open Data. Conclusion The SEEK platform has been adopted by many systems biology consortia across Europe. It is a data management environment that has a low barrier of uptake and provides rich resources for collaboration. This paper provides an update on the functions and features of the SEEK software, and describes the use of the SEEK in the SysMO consortium (Systems biology for Micro-organisms), and the VLN (virtual Liver Network), two large systems biology initiatives with different research aims and different scientific communities.
The increase in volume and complexity of biological data has led to increased requirements to reuse that data. Consistent and accurate metadata is essential for this task, creating new challenges in semantic data annotation and in the constriction of terminologies and ontologies used for annotation. The BioSharing community are developing standards and terminologies for annotation, which have been adopted across bioinformatics, but the real challenge is to make these standards accessible to laboratory scientists. Widespread adoption requires the provision of tools to assist scientists whilst reducing the complexities of working with semantics. This paper describes unobtrusive ‘stealthy’ methods for collecting standards compliant, semantically annotated data and for contributing to ontologies used for those annotations. Spreadsheets are ubiquitous in laboratory data management. Our spreadsheet‐based RightField tool enables scientists to structure information and select ontology terms for annotation within spreadsheets, producing high quality, consistent data without changing common working practices. Furthermore, our Populous spreadsheet tool proves effective for gathering domain knowledge in the form of Web Ontology Language (OWL) ontologies. Such a corpus of structured and semantically enriched knowledge can be extracted in Resource Description Framework (RDF), providing further means for searching across the content and contributing to Open Linked Data (http://linkeddata.org/). Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Olga Krebs
added 2 research items
Background Sucrose translocation between plant tissues is crucial for growth, development and reproduction of plants. Systemic analysis of these metabolic and underlying regulatory processes allow a detailed understanding of carbon distribution within the plant and the formation of associated phenotypic traits. Sucrose translocation from ‘source’ tissues (e.g. mesophyll) to ‘sink’ tissues (e.g. root) is tightly bound to the proton gradient across the membranes. The plant sucrose transporters are grouped into efflux exporters (SWEET family) and proton-symport importers (SUC, STP families). To better understand regulation of sucrose export from source tissues and sucrose import into sink tissues, there is a need for a metabolic model that takes in account the tissue organisation of Arabidopsis thaliana with corresponding metabolic specificities of respective tissues in terms of sucrose and proton production/utilization. An ability of the model to operate under different light modes (‘light’ and ‘dark’) and correspondingly in different energy producing modes is particularly important in understanding regulatory modules. Results Here, we describe a multi-compartmental model consisting of a mesophyll cell with plastid and mitochondrion, a phloem cell, as well as a root cell with mitochondrion. In this model, the phloem was considered as a non-growing transport compartment, the mesophyll compartment was considered as both autotrophic (growing on CO2 under light) and heterotrophic (growing on starch in darkness), and the root was always considered as heterotrophic tissue dependent on sucrose supply from the mesophyll compartment. In total, the model includes 413 balanced compounds interconnected by 400 transformers. The structured metabolic model accounts for central carbon metabolism, photosynthesis, photorespiration, carbohydrate metabolism, energy and redox metabolisms, proton metabolism, biomass growth, nutrients uptake, proton gradient generation and sucrose translocation between tissues. Biochemical processes in the model were associated with gene-products (742 ORFs). Flux Balance Analysis (FBA) of the model resulted in balanced carbon, nitrogen, proton, energy and redox states under both light and dark conditions. The main H⁺-fluxes were reconstructed and their directions matched with proton-dependent sucrose translocation from ‘source’ to ‘sink’ under any light condition. Conclusions The model quantified the translocation of sucrose between plant tissues in association with an integral balance of protons, which in turn is defined by operational modes of the energy metabolism. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-016-0868-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Research in Systems Biology involves integrating data and knowledge about the dynamic processes in biological systems in order to understand and model them. Semantic web technologies should be ideal for exploring the complex networks of genes, proteins and metabolites that interact, but much of this data is not natively available to the semantic web. Data is typically collected and stored with free-text annotations in spreadsheets, many of which do not conform to existing metadata standards and are often not publically released. Along with initiatives to promote more data sharing, one of the main challenges is therefore to semantically annotate and extract this data so that it is available to the research community. Data annotation and curation are expensive and undervalued tasks that have enormous benefits to the discipline as a whole, but fewer benefits to the individual data producers. By embedding semantic annotation into spreadsheets, however, and automatically extracting this data into RDF at the time of repository submission, the process of producing standards-compliant data, that is available for semantic web querying, can be achieved without adding additional overheads to laboratory data management. This paper describes these strategies in the context of semantic data management in the SEEK. The SEEK is a web-based resource for sharing and exchanging Systems Biology data and models that is underpinned by the JERM ontology (Just Enough Results Model), which describes the relationships between data, models, protocols and experiments. The SEEK was originally developed for SysMO, a large European Systems Biology consortium studying micro-organisms, but it has since had widespread adoption across European Systems Biology.
Alan Williams
added a research item
The FAIRDOMHub is a repository for publishing FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) Data, Operating procedures and Models (https://fairdomhub.org/) for the Systems Biology community. It is a web-accessible repository for storing and sharing systems biology research assets. It enables researchers to organize, share and publish data, models and protocols, interlink them in the context of the systems biology investigations that produced them, and to interrogate them via API interfaces. By using the FAIRDOMHub, researchers can achieve more effective exchange with geographically distributed collaborators during projects, ensure results are sustained and preserved and generate reproducible publications that adhere to the FAIR guiding principles of data stewardship.
Olga Krebs
added an update
FAIRDOM training at Combined NormSYS and CHARME Meeting - "Managing Big Data" ( http://www.cost-charme.eu/events/managing-big-data) 5-6 December 2016 in Potsdam, Germany
 
Olga Krebs
added a project goal
FAIRDOM is an initiative to develop a community, and establish an internationally sustained Data and Model Management service to the European Systems Biology community. FAIRDOM is a joint action of ERA-Net EraSysAPP and European Research Infrastructure ISBE.
For more information about FAIRDOM please visit http://fair-dom.org