W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org > May 2006

Re: proposal for standard NCBI database URI

From: Matthias Samwald <samwald@gmx.at>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2006 17:02:17 +0200
To: <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Message-ID: <200651017217.451909@cqueberel>

> MS> Ultimately, we should only have to talk about the biological
> MS> things (and apply URIs to real world resources)

> Aye, right, laudable aim. But 150 years down the line, we still
> don't
> have a workable definition of gene, species, organism or even
> life.

That is an exaggeration. Surely, there are differing views on the meaning of these terms, but this ambiguities can be sharply reduced when we are designing an ontology. This does not mean that we can develop one true ontology, but we can agree on the most common and usable meanings. That is what ontology design is all about. If people have different notions of 'gene' (e.g. 'a physical part of the DNA strand', 'any inheritable unit', 'a unit of information', 'processes that involve a certain part of DNA' etc.) we can analyse them and offer different classes for each notion. 

Received on Wednesday, 10 May 2006 15:02:52 UTC

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