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Science Careers Blog

July 29, 2010

Easier Access to Bioinformatics Resources

Bioinformaticians at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in Spain report having developed a new methodology they hope will save other researchers time when searching for bioinformatics resources on the Internet.

Nowadays, biomedical researchers are spoiled by an abundance of online databases, software, and other resources, but identifying them and learning how to use them can take too much time.

The Madrid team, led by Víctor Maojo, developed a new tool that is able to retrieve and automatically classify bioinformatics resources according to their application domain and functionality by scanning the existing scientific literature. When running the tool on 400 articles in the ISI Web of Knowledge, the team retrieved nearly 95% of the available resources. The tool is designed to update its index of resources automatically.

The best part is that the team has made the new methodology available to everyone via a Web application called BioInformatics Resource Inventory (B.I.R.I.). BIRI allows the whole scientific community to search for bioinformatics resources by name, category, and domain. 

It's free, so you may try it for yourself.

(Speaking of informatics, check out today's CTSciNet profile of Lynn Bry of Harvard Medical School, who developed CRIMSON, which makes access to tissue samples much faster and cheaper.)

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