Systems biology brings together experimental and theoretical methods in order to conduct research on entire organ systems. In doing so, the researchers gain data from different sources and in different formats. In order to combine these heterogeneous data, numerous standards were developed in recent years. Each of these standards covers a certain subarea of systems biology.
For example, there is the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML), an exchange format for biological computer models, or Biological Pathway Exchange (BioPAX), a standard for biological pathways. The problem is that the different standards have been developed independently from each other.
This is where the international Computational Modeling in Biology Network (COMBINE) initiative comes in. Its aim is to develop compatible standards and to coordinate the standards which already exist. From September 3rd to September 7th 2011, more than 80 scientists from 13 countries will meet for the second COMBINE workshop in the Studio Villa Bosch in Heidelberg.
The program of the five-day meeting includes numerous sessions on topics such as mathematical model semantics, biological pathway semantics or visual representation. The scientists aim at refining and improving the existing description standards. Keynote Speakers are Prof. Michael White (University of Liverpool/University of Manchester) and Peer Bork (EMBL).
Host of the meeting is the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS). As data volumes in natural sciences grow exponentially, the HITS strives to support and enhance the data-driven science with computational methods, simulations and data management.
The detailed program of the workshop and further information can be accessed at http://co.mbine.org/events/COMBINE_2011.
Dr. Peter Saueressig | idw
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