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Friday, August 11, 2000

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Individual.Com Life Sciences Software Standards Group Reaches Major Milestone in Genomics Software; Other Specification Efforts Underway
"The Object Management Group (TM) (OMG(TM)) Life Sciences Research (LSR) Domain Task Force (DTF) recently reached a major milestone by gaining final approval for new specifications for biomolecular sequence analysis and genome mapping software. These specifications define standard representations for biological objects such as sequences, annotations, alignments, genomic maps, and map assignments. They also support interfaces for data retrieval and sequence analysis methods. This milestone was recently reached when the OMG Board of Directors voted to adopt these specifications. Software products that implement these specifications are currently under development by a number of commercial and academic groups."
The Life Sciences Research Group Introduction
The Life Sciences Research group is a consortium of people representing pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, software vendors and hardware vendors from all over the world who are working together within the Object Management Group (OMG) to improve communication and interoperability among computational resources in life sciences research.
The life sciences research (LSR) group was formed on 6th August, 1997 in Philadelphia USA. The inaugural meeting was attended by around fifty people representing forty organisations. The scope of the group covers any aspects related to life sciences research, including but not limited to the following: 
  • genomics
  • bioinformatics
  • genetics
  • cheminformatics
  • structural biology
  • computational chemistry
  • computational molecular biology
  • clinical trials
A good introduction to the group and what it hopes to achieve through the OMG standardisation process can be found in the annotated Mission and Goals statement along with the various documents published by the group. 

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Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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