How to help the bench biologist get value out of the wealth of life sciences Linked Data sets? Startup Metaome Science Informatics proposes to offer some help with its DistilBio semantic search and data integration technology, by streamlining the approach to posing user queries. The Distil in DistilBio stands for Data Integration using Semantic Technologies in the Life Sciences.
Metaome, which was founded by CEO Kalpana Krishnaswami and CTO Ramkumar Nandakumar as a bioinformatics services provider before transitioning to a product vendor, contains a few more than a dozen life sciences public data sets so far. Infomaticians in the life sciences space have the expertise to query such data across sets via SPARQL, but the front-line biologist isn’t necessarily an infomatician. So, DistilBio has created a query interface that makes it easier for them to ask large and complex questions in a simplified way across data sets while building a graph in the process.
“How does a user say what are the drugs used for Alzheimer’s disease and do have they have certain protein targets and are those protein targets implicated in other diseases?” says Krishnaswami. “To ask that in one shot right now is hard without working through a SPARQL endpoint using all the SPARQL syntax.”