Saliva Ontology: An ontology-based framework for a Salivaomics Knowledge Base

BMC Bioinformatics 11 (1):302 (2010)
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The Salivaomics Knowledge Base (SKB) is designed to serve as a computational infrastructure that can permit global exploration and utilization of data and information relevant to salivaomics. SKB is created by aligning (1) the saliva biomarker discovery and validation resources at UCLA with (2) the ontology resources developed by the OBO (Open Biomedical Ontologies) Foundry, including a new Saliva Ontology (SALO). We define the Saliva Ontology (SALO; as a consensus-based controlled vocabulary of terms and relations dedicated to the salivaomics domain and to saliva-related diagnostics following the principles of the OBO (Open Biomedical Ontologies) Foundry. The Saliva Ontology is an ongoing exploratory initiative. The ontology will be used to facilitate salivaomics data retrieval and integration across multiple fields of research together with data analysis and data mining. The ontology will be tested through its ability to serve the annotation ('tagging') of a representative corpus of salivaomics research literature that is to be incorporated into the SKB. Background Saliva (oral fluid) is an emerging biofluid for non-invasive diagnostics used in the detection of human diseases. The need to advance saliva research is strongly emphasized by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and is included in the NIDCR's 2004- 2009 expert panel long-term research agenda [1]. The ability to monitor health status, disease onset, progression, recurrence and treatment outcome through noninvasive means is highly important to advancing health care management. Saliva is a perfect medium to be explored for personalized individual medicine including diagnostics, offering a non-invasive, easy to obtain means for detecting and monitoring diseases. Saliva testing potentially allows the patient to collect their own saliva samples at home, yielding convenience for the patient and savings in health costs, and facilitating multiple sampling. Specimen collection is less objectionable to patients and easier in children and elderly individuals. Due to these advantages
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