OWL--a non-redundant composite protein sequence database.
ABSTRACT: A comprehensive, non-redundant composite protein sequence database is described. The database, OWL, is an amalgam of data from six publicly-available primary sources, and is generated using strict redundancy criteria. The database is updated monthly and its size has increased almost eight-fold in the last six years: the current version contains > 76,000 entries. For added flexibility, OWL is distributed with a tailor-made query language, together with a number of programs for database exploration, information retrieval and sequence analysis, which together form an integrated database and software resource for protein sequences.
Project description:Our knowledge of the biological mechanisms underlying complex human disease is largely incomplete. While Semantic Web technologies, such as the Web Ontology Language (OWL), provide powerful techniques for representing existing knowledge, well-established OWL reasoners are unable to account for missing or uncertain knowledge. The application of inductive inference methods, like machine learning and network inference are vital for extending our current knowledge. Therefore, robust methods which facilitate inductive inference on rich OWL-encoded knowledge are needed. Here, we propose OWL-NETS (NEtwork Transformation for Statistical learning), a novel computational method that reversibly abstracts OWL-encoded biomedical knowledge into a network representation tailored for network inference. Using several examples built with the Open Biomedical Ontologies, we show that OWL-NETS can leverage existing ontology-based knowledge representations and network inference methods to generate novel, biologically-relevant hypotheses. Further, the lossless transformation of OWL-NETS allows for seamless integration of inferred edges back into the original knowledge base, extending its coverage and completeness.
Project description:The OWL Reasoner Evaluation competition is an annual competition (with an associated workshop) that pits OWL 2 compliant reasoners against each other on various standard reasoning tasks over naturally occurring problems. The 2015 competition was the third of its sort and had 14 reasoners competing in six tracks comprising three tasks (consistency, classification, and realisation) over two profiles (OWL 2 DL and EL). In this paper, we discuss the design, execution and results of the 2015 competition with particular attention to lessons learned for benchmarking, comparative experiments, and future competitions.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Finding useful high-grade professional orthopaedic information on the Internet is often difficult. Orthopaedic Web Links (OWL) is a searchable database of vetted online orthopaedic resources. OWL uses a subject directory (OWL Directory) and a custom search engine (OWL Web) to provide a list of resources. The most effective way to find readily accessible, full text on-subject material suitable for education of an orthopaedic surgeon or trainee has not been defined. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: We therefore (1) proposed a method for selecting topics and evaluating searches and (2) compared the search results from an orthopaedic-specific directory (OWL Directory), a custom search engine (OWL Web), and standard Google searches. METHODS: A scoring system for evaluation of the search results was developed for standardized comparison. Single words and sets of three words from randomly selected examination questions provided the search strings to compare the three strategies. RESULTS: For single keyword searches, the OWL Directory scored highest (16.4/50) of the three methods. For the three keywords searches, OWL Web had the highest mean score (26.0/50), followed by Google (22.8/50), and the OWL Directory (1.0/50). OWL Web searches had higher scores than Google searches, while returning 800 times fewer search results. CONCLUSION: The OWL Directory of orthopaedic subjects on the Internet provides a simple browsable category structure to find information. The OWL Web search engine scored higher than Google and resulted in a greater proportion of valid, on-subject, and accessible resources in the search results.
Project description:Ontologies are commonly used in biomedicine to organize concepts to describe domains such as anatomies, environments, experiment, taxonomies etc. NCBO BioPortal currently hosts about 180 different biomedical ontologies. These ontologies have been mainly expressed in either the Open Biomedical Ontology (OBO) format or the Web Ontology Language (OWL). OBO emerged from the Gene Ontology, and supports most of the biomedical ontology content. In comparison, OWL is a Semantic Web language, and is supported by the World Wide Web consortium together with integral query languages, rule languages and distributed infrastructure for information interchange. These features are highly desirable for the OBO content as well. A convenient method for leveraging these features for OBO ontologies is by transforming OBO ontologies to OWL.We have developed a methodology for translating OBO ontologies to OWL using the organization of the Semantic Web itself to guide the work. The approach reveals that the constructs of OBO can be grouped together to form a similar layer cake. Thus we were able to decompose the problem into two parts. Most OBO constructs have easy and obvious equivalence to a construct in OWL. A small subset of OBO constructs requires deeper consideration. We have defined transformations for all constructs in an effort to foster a standard common mapping between OBO and OWL. Our mapping produces OWL-DL, a Description Logics based subset of OWL with desirable computational properties for efficiency and correctness. Our Java implementation of the mapping is part of the official Gene Ontology project source.Our transformation system provides a lossless roundtrip mapping for OBO ontologies, i.e. an OBO ontology may be translated to OWL and back without loss of knowledge. In addition, it provides a roadmap for bridging the gap between the two ontology languages in order to enable the use of ontology content in a language independent manner.
Project description:New genomic tools open doors to study ecology, evolution, and population genomics of wild animals. For the Barn owl species complex, a cosmopolitan nocturnal raptor, a very fragmented draft genome was assembled for the American species (Tyto furcata pratincola) (Jarvis et al. 2014). To improve the genome, we assembled de novo Illumina and Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) long reads sequences of its European counterpart (Tyto alba alba). This genome assembly of 1.219 Gbp comprises 21,509 scaffolds and results in a N50 of 4,615,526 bp. BUSCO (Universal Single-Copy Orthologs) analysis revealed an assembly completeness of 94.8% with only 1.8% of the genes missing out of 4,915 avian orthologs searched, a proportion similar to that found in the genomes of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) or the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis). By mapping the reads of the female American barn owl to the male European barn owl reads, we detected several structural variants and identified 70 Mbp of the Z chromosome. The barn owl scaffolds were further mapped to the chromosomes of the zebra finch. In addition, the completeness of the European barn owl genome is demonstrated with 94 of 128 proteins missing in the chicken genome retrieved in the European barn owl transcripts. This improved genome will help future barn owl population genomic investigations.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Phenotype ontologies are used in species-specific databases for the annotation of mutagenesis experiments and to characterize human diseases. The Entity-Quality (EQ) formalism is a means to describe complex phenotypes based on one or more affected entities and a quality. EQ-based definitions have been developed for many phenotype ontologies, including the Human and Mammalian Phenotype ontologies. METHODS: We analyze formalizations of complex phenotype descriptions in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) that are based on the EQ model, identify several representational challenges and analyze potential solutions to address these challenges. RESULTS: In particular, we suggest a novel, role-based approach to represent relational qualities such as concentration of iron in spleen, discuss its ontological foundation in the General Formal Ontology (GFO) and evaluate its representation in OWL and the benefits it can bring to the representation of phenotype annotations. CONCLUSION: Our analysis of OWL-based representations of phenotypes can contribute to improving consistency and expressiveness of formal phenotype descriptions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Many ontologies have been developed in biology and these ontologies increasingly contain large volumes of formalized knowledge commonly expressed in the Web Ontology Language (OWL). Computational access to the knowledge contained within these ontologies relies on the use of automated reasoning. RESULTS:We have developed the Aber-OWL infrastructure that provides reasoning services for bio-ontologies. Aber-OWL consists of an ontology repository, a set of web services and web interfaces that enable ontology-based semantic access to biological data and literature. Aber-OWL is freely available at http://aber-owl.net . CONCLUSIONS:Aber-OWL provides a framework for automatically accessing information that is annotated with ontologies or contains terms used to label classes in ontologies. When using Aber-OWL, access to ontologies and data annotated with them is not merely based on class names or identifiers but rather on the knowledge the ontologies contain and the inferences that can be drawn from it.
Project description:Pulex irritans L. is a cosmopolitan flea species that infests a wide variety of hosts. In North America it generally parasitizes large wild mammals, but in the Pacific Northwest an association has emerged between P. irritans and the western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea). While investigators have recognized this association for decades, it has not been clear if P. irritans feeds on burrowing owls, or if the owls serve exclusively as phoretic hosts. Here we describe using a real-time assay that was originally developed to identify bloodmeals in Ugandan cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis Bouché) to detect burrowing owl DNA in P. irritans collected from burrowing owls in southern Idaho. Of 50 fleas tested, 12 had no detectable vertebrate bloodmeal. The remaining 38 (76%) contained burrowing owl DNA. The assay did not detect vertebrate DNA in unfed fleas exposed to owl or mouse pelts and is therefore unlikely to detect DNA in fleas from vertebrates that have served exclusively as phoretic hosts. We conclude that P. irritans feeds on burrowing owls. We discuss the potential implications of this finding for burrowing owl conservation and enzootic plague dynamics.
Project description:In this paper new mitochondrial COI sequences of Common Barn Owl Tyto alba (Scopoli, 1769) and Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan, 1763) from southern Chile are reported and compared with sequences from other parts of the World. The intraspecific genetic divergence (mean p-distance) was 4.6 to 5.5% for the Common Barn Owl in comparison with specimens from northern Europe and Australasia and 3.1% for the Short-eared Owl with respect to samples from north America, northern Europe and northern Asia. Phylogenetic analyses revealed three distinctive groups for the Common Barn Owl: (i) South America (Chile and Argentina) plus Central and North America, (ii) northern Europe and (iii) Australasia, and two distinctive groups for the Short-eared Owl: (i) South America (Chile and Argentina) and (ii) north America plus northern Europe and northern Asia. The level of genetic divergence observed in both species exceeds the upper limit of intraspecific comparisons reported previously for Strigiformes. Therefore, this suggests that further research is needed to assess the taxonomic status, particularly for the Chilean populations that, to date, have been identified as belonging to these species through traditional taxonomy.
Project description:We report here the assembly of a northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) genome. We generated Illumina paired-end sequence data at 90× coverage using nine libraries with insert lengths ranging from ?250 to 9,600?nt and read lengths from 100 to 375?nt. The genome assembly is comprised of 8,108 scaffolds totaling 1.26 × 109 nt in length with an N50 length of 3.98 × 106 nt. We calculated the genome-wide fixation index (FST) of S. o. caurina with the closely related barred owl (Strix varia) as 0.819. We examined 19 genes that encode proteins with light-dependent functions in our genome assembly as well as in that of the barn owl (Tyto alba). We present genomic evidence for loss of three of these in S. o. caurina and four in T. alba. We suggest that most light-associated gene functions have been maintained in owls and their loss has not proceeded to the same extent as in other dim-light-adapted vertebrates.