TORONTO — A consortium of computer companies and academics on 10 June 2002 presented a naming system for life science information that they said could simplify the identification and tracking of genes and proteins.

The Interoperable Informatics Infrastructure Consortium (I3C) demonstrated a universal nomenclature at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) 2002 Annual Convention. The Life Science Identifier (LSID) defines a simple convention for identifying and accessing biological data stored in multiple formats.

Today, researchers use more than 400 file formats, and each lab has its own system for naming and structuring the data. "[LSID] allows us to identify an object in a database or flat file and assign it a single name," said Brian Gilman, head of the I3C technical architecture working group, one of 1000 exhibitors at the convention. "We're trying to make things as open and transparent as possible."

Gilman, who is also a group leader for...

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