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1.  TogoTable: cross-database annotation system using the Resource Description Framework (RDF) data model 
Nucleic Acids Research  2014;42(Web Server issue):W442-W448.
TogoTable ( is a web tool that adds user-specified annotations to a table that a user uploads. Annotations are drawn from several biological databases that use the Resource Description Framework (RDF) data model. TogoTable uses database identifiers (IDs) in the table as a query key for searching. RDF data, which form a network called Linked Open Data (LOD), can be searched from SPARQL endpoints using a SPARQL query language. Because TogoTable uses RDF, it can integrate annotations from not only the reference database to which the IDs originally belong, but also externally linked databases via the LOD network. For example, annotations in the Protein Data Bank can be retrieved using GeneID through links provided by the UniProt RDF. Because RDF has been standardized by the World Wide Web Consortium, any database with annotations based on the RDF data model can be easily incorporated into this tool. We believe that TogoTable is a valuable Web tool, particularly for experimental biologists who need to process huge amounts of data such as high-throughput experimental output.
PMCID: PMC4086138  PMID: 24829452
2.  BioHackathon series in 2011 and 2012: penetration of ontology and linked data in life science domains 
Katayama, Toshiaki | Wilkinson, Mark D | Aoki-Kinoshita, Kiyoko F | Kawashima, Shuichi | Yamamoto, Yasunori | Yamaguchi, Atsuko | Okamoto, Shinobu | Kawano, Shin | Kim, Jin-Dong | Wang, Yue | Wu, Hongyan | Kano, Yoshinobu | Ono, Hiromasa | Bono, Hidemasa | Kocbek, Simon | Aerts, Jan | Akune, Yukie | Antezana, Erick | Arakawa, Kazuharu | Aranda, Bruno | Baran, Joachim | Bolleman, Jerven | Bonnal, Raoul JP | Buttigieg, Pier Luigi | Campbell, Matthew P | Chen, Yi-an | Chiba, Hirokazu | Cock, Peter JA | Cohen, K Bretonnel | Constantin, Alexandru | Duck, Geraint | Dumontier, Michel | Fujisawa, Takatomo | Fujiwara, Toyofumi | Goto, Naohisa | Hoehndorf, Robert | Igarashi, Yoshinobu | Itaya, Hidetoshi | Ito, Maori | Iwasaki, Wataru | Kalaš, Matúš | Katoda, Takeo | Kim, Taehong | Kokubu, Anna | Komiyama, Yusuke | Kotera, Masaaki | Laibe, Camille | Lapp, Hilmar | Lütteke, Thomas | Marshall, M Scott | Mori, Takaaki | Mori, Hiroshi | Morita, Mizuki | Murakami, Katsuhiko | Nakao, Mitsuteru | Narimatsu, Hisashi | Nishide, Hiroyo | Nishimura, Yosuke | Nystrom-Persson, Johan | Ogishima, Soichi | Okamura, Yasunobu | Okuda, Shujiro | Oshita, Kazuki | Packer, Nicki H | Prins, Pjotr | Ranzinger, Rene | Rocca-Serra, Philippe | Sansone, Susanna | Sawaki, Hiromichi | Shin, Sung-Ho | Splendiani, Andrea | Strozzi, Francesco | Tadaka, Shu | Toukach, Philip | Uchiyama, Ikuo | Umezaki, Masahito | Vos, Rutger | Whetzel, Patricia L | Yamada, Issaku | Yamasaki, Chisato | Yamashita, Riu | York, William S | Zmasek, Christian M | Kawamoto, Shoko | Takagi, Toshihisa
The application of semantic technologies to the integration of biological data and the interoperability of bioinformatics analysis and visualization tools has been the common theme of a series of annual BioHackathons hosted in Japan for the past five years. Here we provide a review of the activities and outcomes from the BioHackathons held in 2011 in Kyoto and 2012 in Toyama. In order to efficiently implement semantic technologies in the life sciences, participants formed various sub-groups and worked on the following topics: Resource Description Framework (RDF) models for specific domains, text mining of the literature, ontology development, essential metadata for biological databases, platforms to enable efficient Semantic Web technology development and interoperability, and the development of applications for Semantic Web data. In this review, we briefly introduce the themes covered by these sub-groups. The observations made, conclusions drawn, and software development projects that emerged from these activities are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3978116  PMID: 24495517
BioHackathon; Bioinformatics; Semantic Web; Web services; Ontology; Visualization; Knowledge representation; Databases; Semantic interoperability; Data models; Data sharing; Data integration
3.  Introducing glycomics data into the Semantic Web 
Glycoscience is a research field focusing on complex carbohydrates (otherwise known as glycans)a, which can, for example, serve as “switches” that toggle between different functions of a glycoprotein or glycolipid. Due to the advancement of glycomics technologies that are used to characterize glycan structures, many glycomics databases are now publicly available and provide useful information for glycoscience research. However, these databases have almost no link to other life science databases.
In order to implement support for the Semantic Web most efficiently for glycomics research, the developers of major glycomics databases agreed on a minimal standard for representing glycan structure and annotation information using RDF (Resource Description Framework). Moreover, all of the participants implemented this standard prototype and generated preliminary RDF versions of their data. To test the utility of the converted data, all of the data sets were uploaded into a Virtuoso triple store, and several SPARQL queries were tested as “proofs-of-concept” to illustrate the utility of the Semantic Web in querying across databases which were originally difficult to implement.
We were able to successfully retrieve information by linking UniCarbKB, GlycomeDB and JCGGDB in a single SPARQL query to obtain our target information. We also tested queries linking UniProt with GlycoEpitope as well as lectin data with GlycomeDB through PDB. As a result, we have been able to link proteomics data with glycomics data through the implementation of Semantic Web technologies, allowing for more flexible queries across these domains.
PMCID: PMC4177142  PMID: 24280648
BioHackathon; Carbohydrate; Data integration; Glycan; Glycoconjugate; SPARQL; RDF standard; Carbohydrate structure database
4.  The 2nd DBCLS BioHackathon: interoperable bioinformatics Web services for integrated applications 
The interaction between biological researchers and the bioinformatics tools they use is still hampered by incomplete interoperability between such tools. To ensure interoperability initiatives are effectively deployed, end-user applications need to be aware of, and support, best practices and standards. Here, we report on an initiative in which software developers and genome biologists came together to explore and raise awareness of these issues: BioHackathon 2009.
Developers in attendance came from diverse backgrounds, with experts in Web services, workflow tools, text mining and visualization. Genome biologists provided expertise and exemplar data from the domains of sequence and pathway analysis and glyco-informatics. One goal of the meeting was to evaluate the ability to address real world use cases in these domains using the tools that the developers represented. This resulted in i) a workflow to annotate 100,000 sequences from an invertebrate species; ii) an integrated system for analysis of the transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) enriched based on differential gene expression data obtained from a microarray experiment; iii) a workflow to enumerate putative physical protein interactions among enzymes in a metabolic pathway using protein structure data; iv) a workflow to analyze glyco-gene-related diseases by searching for human homologs of glyco-genes in other species, such as fruit flies, and retrieving their phenotype-annotated SNPs.
Beyond deriving prototype solutions for each use-case, a second major purpose of the BioHackathon was to highlight areas of insufficiency. We discuss the issues raised by our exploration of the problem/solution space, concluding that there are still problems with the way Web services are modeled and annotated, including: i) the absence of several useful data or analysis functions in the Web service "space"; ii) the lack of documentation of methods; iii) lack of compliance with the SOAP/WSDL specification among and between various programming-language libraries; and iv) incompatibility between various bioinformatics data formats. Although it was still difficult to solve real world problems posed to the developers by the biological researchers in attendance because of these problems, we note the promise of addressing these issues within a semantic framework.
PMCID: PMC3170566  PMID: 21806842
5.  Tutorial videos of bioinformatics resources: online distribution trial in Japan named TogoTV 
Briefings in Bioinformatics  2011;13(2):258-268.
In recent years, biological web resources such as databases and tools have become more complex because of the enormous amounts of data generated in the field of life sciences. Traditional methods of distributing tutorials include publishing textbooks and posting web documents, but these static contents cannot adequately describe recent dynamic web services. Due to improvements in computer technology, it is now possible to create dynamic content such as video with minimal effort and low cost on most modern computers. The ease of creating and distributing video tutorials instead of static content improves accessibility for researchers, annotators and curators. This article focuses on online video repositories for educational and tutorial videos provided by resource developers and users. It also describes a project in Japan named TogoTV ( and discusses the production and distribution of high-quality tutorial videos, which would be useful to viewer, with examples. This article intends to stimulate and encourage researchers who develop and use databases and tools to distribute how-to videos as a tool to enhance product usability.
PMCID: PMC3294242  PMID: 21803786
screencast; vodcast; tutorial; YouTube; QuickTime; Flash
6.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of the cellulose biosynthesis-related protein CMCax from Acetobacter xylinum  
The cellulose biosynthesis-related protein CMCax from A. xylinum has been purified and crystallized. The crystals of CMCax belong to the primitive hexagonal space group P61 or P65, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 89.1, c = 94.2 Å.
The cellulose biosynthesis-related protein CMCax from Acetobacter xylinum was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized. Single crystals of selenomethionine (SeMet) substituted CMCax were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method at 293 K, primarily using polyethylene glycol 4000 as a precipitant. The crystals belong to the primitive hexagonal space group P61 or P65, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 89.1, c = 94.2 Å. The predicted Matthews coefficient (V M) value is 3.0 Å3 Da−1 for one CMCax monomer in the asymmetric unit. A single-wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) data set was collected to a resolution of 2.3 Å using synchrotron radiation.
PMCID: PMC1952249  PMID: 16511009
Acetobacter xylinum; bacterial celluloses; cellulose biosynthesis; CMCax; endo-β-1,4-glucanases; glycoside hydrolase family 8

Results 1-6 (6)