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Sun s Informatics Advisory Council Lays Out Primary Life Science IT Challenges

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Sun Microsystems recently released the findings of the Informatics Advisory Council Summit it hosted November 30-December 1, 2000, where participants from academia, government, and industry gathered to prioritize the IT needs of the life science community.

Sun and several of the original IAC members have since acted on the primary issue identified by the group by forming the Interoperable Informatics Infrastructure Consortium (I3C). Spearheaded by Sun and the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the I3C aims to establish an open platform for the life sciences based on Java and XML.

Sun said that I3C participation has more than doubled since the initiative was announced last month.

The next IAC Summit is scheduled for October 23-24, 2001, in Palo Alto, Calif. — BT

The IAC’s Top Ten Issues for the Life Science IT Community to Address

1. To collaboratively develop an open platform for integration to support convergence of knowledge bases and tools by using and driving Java-XML standards.

2. To lend more support to the efforts of the Object Management Group’s Life Science Research Domain Task Force in developing data standards, making these standards readily available in the public domain, and by implementing these standards.

3. To submit a list of the algorithms and applications key to the community for optimization and/or porting to Solaris and to select a representative application for Java beta-testing.

4. To define the chemistry and biology touchpoints for possible integration and interoperability.

5. To continue to support forums dedicated to identifying and addressing issues critical to the community as a whole.

6. To develop technology that refines text-searching methodologies.

7. To improve technology required for data mining and data integration that preserve data integrity.

8. To develop methodologies for sub-structure queries to facilitate data mining from the molecular to atomic level.

9. To define ontologies to represent data in a more meaningful way.

10. To build awareness and educate the public about the importance, safety, and testing of bio-engineering.

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