Courtesy of IBM

A new effort to unify the naming conventions of biological data is now underway in labs and companies throughout the world. The Life Science Identifier (LSID) Resolution Protocol Project consists of two software programs and a set of naming standards http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/oss/lsid.

The first program is a server application called LSID Authority, which allows database and Web-site managers to identify their data with LSID URNs (uniform resource names, similar to URLs). The second program is a client search package called LSID Resolver, which allows anyone to search for particular information through a distributed network. "Eventually, you can use it to run on any computer to find every piece of available information on a particular life sciences-related item," says Sean Martin, a senior technical senior staff member at IBM's Advanced Internet Technology Group, who helped to program the software.

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