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Rosetta Forms GEML Community with Spotfire as an Initial Member

NEW YORK, Nov 27 -- Rosetta Inpharmatics has formed a network of genome research organizations to further develop and promote the company's Gene Expression Markup Language as a file format for exchange and publication of gene expression data and annotation, the company announced today.

Spotfire has signed on as an initial member of the group, which is called the the GEML Community, and is supporting GEML, an open-standard XML file format that converts various gene expression data files into a common format.

Rosetta launched GEML in October and is distributing it for free along with a set of gene expression data visualization tools.

However, this is not an exclusive endorsement for Spotfire, whose products are also compatible with other industry formats, said Spotfire CEO Christopher Ahlberg.

“We are going to be supporting a whole range of these [formats],” said Ahlberg. He noted that Spotfire already supports formats from Affymetrix, Incyte Genomics, and Molecular Dynamics.

Spotfire joined the GEML Community to foster more collaboration in establishing standards for information interchange among software, microarray, bioinformatics, and other segments of the genomics industry.

" As one of the first companies to endorse the GEML format, Spotfire will pave the way for other companies to enhance their products without impacting functionality, to support a more open and collaborative environment," said David Butler, Spotfire’s vice president of product strategy, in a statement.

Butler added that the GEML format gets rid of communication barriers and facilitates information exchange across organizations using different gene expression data formats.

Spotfire is going to develop a database adapter that allows the Spotfire products to accept the GEML description or data format. This will enable Spotfire users to manipulate GEML data regardless of its source, Ahlberg said.

“We are also going to be providing them input on what we think is smart for the format,” said Ahlberg.

Rosetta believes that its coalition is necessary because as the use of gene expression technologies grows, life science researchers will need to be able to exchange information more easily.

The intent of the GEML Community is to bring together organizations dedicated to guiding the future development of and promoting a common language for sharing gene expression data and annotation.

" Unlike the situation for DNA sequence data, where standard formats such as GenBank have long served the research community, gene expression data has remained somewhat of a Tower of Babel, presenting roadblocks to data translation and application interoperability. Rosetta Inpharmatics is contributing its expertise and experience, in cooperation with others, to overcome these roadblocks," said Mark Boguski, Rosetta’s senior vice president of research and development, in a statement.

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