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April 30, 2009 | IO Informatics Releases Latest Sentient Suite Knowledge Explorer
The latest version of Sentient Suite Knowledge Explorer 2.0 was shown at this week’s Bio-IT World conference in Boston. Core updates are within the Sentient Knowledge Explorer, the semantic framework for ontology management, data integration and knowledge applications. The Knowledge Explorer includes a proprietary RDF-centric Knowledgebase, tools for Cross-Ontology Mapping and for automated mapping of data to ontologies. 

Separately, IOI announced former Pfizer executive Ms. Kathy Gibson has joined the SAB. Gibson recently formed Helio Consulting (www.helioconsulting.com) whose mission is to provide advice and consultation on how best to identify and implement innovation across a spectrum of industries. Gibson held a variety of positions with Pfizer Worldwide, including CIO for Research, VP Business Innovation and Global Head, Advanced Research Technologies. More information.

Genedata Releases Screener 7.0 
Screener 7.0 combines an enterprise-wide assay data management platform with high-performance processing workflows and flexible analysis tools and provides access to high content screening-specific functionality. Other features improve Screener’s support of complex, multiplexed assay formats and technologies, such as HCS, label-free and multiplex target assays. Data from multiple read-outs can easily be compared and combined both visually and statistically, in scatter and distribution plots, statistical tables, and user-definable calculations across read-outs. New  functionality also enables the consistent generation of hit lists from such assays, exploiting their multiple read-outs in a concise fashion, documenting the criteria applied and managing the results centrally for shared access. Read release. 

NHGRI Releases Free Online Toolkit
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced the release of the first version of a free online toolkit aimed at standardizing measurements of research subjects' physical characteristics and environmental exposures. The tools will give researchers more power to compare data from multiple studies, accelerating efforts to understand the complex genetic and environmental factors that cause cancer, heart disease, depression and other common diseases.

The toolkit, which is available at <https://www.phenxtoolkit.org/>, is the first product of the Consensus Measures for Phenotypes and eXposures (PhenX) initiative. Supported by a $6.8 million cooperative agreement from NHGRI and conducted by RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., PhenX is a three-year project to develop a set of standard measures across 20 research categories related to health and common diseases.

Additional categories and measures will be added to the PhenX Toolkit over the next few months. Along with its goal of listing 20 standardized measures, the toolkit will include supplemental information about each measure, such as current scientific thinking about its significance and influences upon health status. The process used to develop the measures is being driven by the scientific community through the PhenX steering committee, working groups and surveys. For more information visit: www.phenx.org.

InforSense Partners with Tessella
Tessella will become a systems integrator for InforSense and will receive advanced training from InforSense, provide project management, implementation services, and on-site support and troubleshooting for InforSense customers. “With InforSense, organizations have the ability to answer quickly even the most complex scientific questions,” said Jon Tilbury, Director, Tessella. “We are delighted to be able to offer our clients the combination of our unique expertise in life sciences together with InforSense’s ability to integrate, analyze and visualize complex, cross-domain data from multiple sources.” Read Release.

Former Wyeth President of R&D Joins GNS SAB
Gene Network Sciences named Robert Ruffolo, former president of Wyeth R&D, to its Scientific Advisory Board. Ruffolo retired in 2008. Prior to joining Wyeth, Dr. Ruffolo spent 17 years at SmithKline Beecham (now GSK) and 6 years at Lilly. More information.

Amgen's Stunning New Angiogenesis Website
Amgen has released a new website meant to educate health care providers about the latest updates in the biology of angiogenesis. With a stunning graphical interface, the site takes viewers on a virtual tour inside the human body showing how angiogenesis promotes tumor growth and illustrating potential ways to attack tumor cells. See the site:
 http://angiogenesis.amgen.com/

Linguamatics Integrates ChemAxon Technology for Chemical Text Mining
Linguamatics will integrate ChemAxon's substructure and structure similarity search capabilities into the I2E semantic knowledge-discovery platform. This technology integration addresses the problem of identifying key facts and relationships from text documents for structurally-similar chemical compounds. Demonstrated for the first time next week at the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo '09, Boston, USA, this exciting new capability will be available in the upcoming I2E 3.1  release.

"Text mining has become a core capability in pharmaceutical R&D and our customers want to answer business-critical questions that cross traditional information silos," said Roger Hale, COO and Co-founder of Linguamatics. "I2E is already capable of extracting high quality textual and numeric information. Combining with ChemAxon's chemical expertise has enabled us to add yet another dimension to I2E's agile text mining across life science data sources." More information.

Cardiff U Becomes a GeneGo Center of Excellence
Cardiff University researchers will have access to GeneGo’s MetaCore, training and advanced support. They will be able to leverage their partner relationship with GeneGo to provide a pathway analysis environment for all the university’s researchers. “We will be using MetaCore to support a range of researchers across Cardiff University who are using our transcriptomics core facility, including major programs in cancer research, infection and immunity, and neuropsychiatric disease,” said professor David Kipling, director of operations of central biotechnology Services. Read release. 

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This article first appeared in Bio-IT World’s Predictive Biomedicine newsletter. Click here for a free subscription.

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