Data transformation

potatoes by Avoir Chaud
Bioinformatics as mashup:
[Via business|bytes|genes|molecules]

bioinformatics: acquiring, collating and rearranging information already available elsewhere?

That is from a Tweet by Neil. My reaction was somthing along the lines of “boy that sounds like the definition of a mashup”.

Bioinformatics is a broad field, but part of it, a good part of what a bioinformatician does is exactly what Neil describes. The work of a bioinformatician is built on data collected by many people around the world and deposited in a variety of data bases. A lot of what we do is take information from one and try and match it up to information from a second source, presumably with the goal of getting additional insights. It might sound crude to call it that, but I think if we start thinking of bioinformatics as a mashup, we could start thinking about making those mashups available to others, and perhaps even new ways to present the information.

Disclaimer: This post was written early in the morning before any intake of caffeine

This is exactly right. Data just exists. It requires human interaction to provide context. Sitting in a database does nothing.

Mashups, as described here, take explicit information and transform it into knowledge. The key is to provide the right tools so that appropriate mashups can be performed. Perhaps Ubiquity will provide an avenue for such mashups.