B-Fabric: A Data and Application Integration Framework for Life Sciences Research
Life sciences research in general and systems biology in particular have evolved from the simple combination of theoretical frameworks and experimental hypothesis validation to combined sciences of biology/medicine, analytical technology/chemistry, and informatics/statistics/modeling. Integrating these multiple threads of a research project at the technical and data level requires tight control and systematic workflows for data generation, data management, and data evaluation. Systems biology research emphasizes the use of multiple approaches at various molecular and functional levels, making the use of complementing technologies and the collaboration of many researchers a prerequisite. This paper presents B-Fabric, a system developed and running at the Functional Genomics Center Zurich (FGCZ), which provides a core framework for integrating different analytical technologies and data analysis tools. In addition to data capturing and management, B-Fabric emphasizes the need for quality-controlled scientific annotation of analytical data, providing the ground for integrative querying and exploitation of systems biology data. Users interact with B-Fabric through a simple Web portal making the framework flexible in terms of local infrastructure.
KeywordsData Provider Semantic Context Life Science Research Data Mart System Biology Research
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