For the Sake of Research and Patient Care, Scientists Must Find Common Language

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In July, hundreds of international scientists from dozens of biomedical fields will meet at the University at Buffalo seeking a common language with which to energize cross-disciplinary research.

The International Conference on Biomedical Ontology will take place July 26-30, and conference convener Barry Smith, PhD, says attendees have a common goal: to enable all of the data produced by the entire spectrum of life sciences to be easily retrieved and understood by those working in all biomedical fields, from the molecular to the global scale.

"It is a huge order," he says, "little understood by the general public and difficult to achieve, but absolutely necessary for the continued development of biomedical science. It promises benefits in some ways similar to those brought to physics by the standardization of units of measure in the 18th century."

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