Nanoinformatics in Europe: The ACTION-Grid White Paper

Maojo, Victor. (2010) Nanoinformatics in Europe: The ACTION-Grid White Paper. In: Nanoinformatics 2010, November 3 - 5, 2010, Arlington, VA. (Unpublished)

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ACTION-Grid [1,2] has been the first European Commission (EC)-funded initiative analyzing Nanoinformatics and its relationship with areas such as Biomedical Informatics (BMI) and Nanomedicine. This analysis was aimed towards helping develop a roadmap for future research, which has been the goal of the ACTION Grid project and the White Paper delivered to the EC. We carried out an analysis of the state of the art and the literature—using text mining and information retrieval techniques—a survey delivered to professionals in various continents, the preparation and discussion of a large number of questions, various meetings and exchanges over the Internet, and, finally, the iterative improvement of the final draft within a Web-based collaborative space. As a summary of this White Paper, we suggested a summary of concrete actions that could be adopted by research agencies—and, in particular, the EC—to foster new developments in Nanoinformatics; to propose five Grand Challenges in Nanoinformatics, directly connected to BMI, which could lead to strong research results in the mid- and long- term. In brief, these five Grand Challenges are: 1: Research on data, repositories, and standards, regarding a Nanoinformatics infrastructure for collecting, curating, annotating, organizing and archiving the available data. 2: Interoperability (semantic search, ontologies). Structuring nanomedical knowledge is essential for advancing research. Developing new ontologies at the nano level and linking them with others—e.g., from the OBO foundry—will facilitate future interoperability of different information systems containing nano-related data. 3: Linking nano-related data to Electronic Health Records. For instance, new standards for storing data or augmenting clinical vocabularies and terminologies—like SNOMED—or for messaging—like HL7—can incorporate nano-related terminologies and procedures, taking into account patient safety and possible secondary effects of nanoparticles. 4: Translational Nanoinformatics. A broad, integrative vision of BMI helps integrate molecular and clinical data for scientific discovery. From such a viewpoint, translational nanoinformatics requires a deeper perspective beyond current approaches to informatics, commonly linked to collecting, representing, and linking information and managing system and semantic heterogeneity. Basic scientific research at the nano level—e.g., quantum dots for imaging applications—will surely lead to new clinical applications. 5: Extension of the European Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) framework to the nano level. The VPH programme was designed for supporting R&D of patient-specific computer models and informatics tools for modeling and simulating human physiology and disease processes. In addition, there is the need to create catalogues of nanoparticles and biological targets, their interactions and potential nanotoxicity. In this context, BMI and VPH researchers have created a large number of models and simulation tools that could be reused or adapted to nanomedicine. Finally, nanoinformatics research carried out by members of this consortium include those related to text mining approaches for a variety of topics, like extracting nanotoxicity information from the literature, linking ontologies from the nanoinformatics area with those from other areas—like the OBO Foundry—and creating repositories of various types of information that can be used for additional research, information management, and analytical efforts in nanoinformatics and nanomedicine.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Uncontrolled Keywords: biomedical informatics, translational nanoinformatics, repositories, EU, text mining,
InterNano Taxonomy: Informatics and Standards
Collections: National Nanomanufacturing Network Archive > Conferences and Workshops > Nanoinformatics 2010
Depositing User: Rebecca Reznik-Zellen
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2011 18:07
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2011 18:07

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