November 15, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 20)

URL:
http://www.biopax.org

Rating:
Strong Points: Ambitious
Weak Points: Not for the faint of heart

Summary:
In terms of gathering pathway related information, “BioPAX” takes a collaborative approach to create a data exchange format with the same end goal. Designed as an open source project, the site has a wiki page that records development activity. Access to participation requires registration, and after this is done, visitors can participate in discussions/forums and contribute to the body of knowledge. The site’s road map identifies four levels of complexity, of which only the first and second have had any significant progress noted to date. They include small molecule pathways, interactions, and classes (level one), DNA interactions, interaction networks and classes (level two), gene interactions, pathways, and classes (level three), and more. At the far end, the project aims to capture abstract relationships between biological entities and cell-level interactors. Sound techie? It is, but who said life was simple?