The NanoInformatics Knowledge Commons: Capturing spatial and temporal nanomaterial transformations in diverse systems.
The empirical necessity for integrating informatics throughout the experimental process has become a focal point of the nano-community as we work in parallel to converge efforts for making nano-data reproducible and accessible. The NanoInformatics Knowledge Commons (NIKC) Database was designed to capture the complex relationship between nanomaterials and their environments over time in the concept of an 'Instance'. Our Instance Organizational Structure (IOS) was built to record metadata on nanomaterial transformations in an organizational structure permitting readily accessible data for broader scientific inquiry. By transforming published and on-going data into the IOS we are able to tell the full transformational journey of a nanomaterial within its experimental life cycle. The IOS structure has prepared curated data to be fully analyzed to uncover relationships between observable phenomenon and medium or nanomaterial characteristics. Essential to building the NIKC database and associated applications was incorporating the researcher's needs into every level of development. We started by centering the research question, the query, and the necessary data needed to support the question and query. The process used to create nanoinformatic tools informs usability and analytical capability. In this paper we present the NIKC database, our developmental process, and its curated contents. We also present the Collaboration Tool which was built to foster building new collaboration teams. Through these efforts we aim to: 1) elucidate the general principles that determine nanomaterial behavior in the environment; 2) identify metadata necessary to predict exposure potential and bio-uptake; and 3) identify key characterization assays that predict outcomes of interest.
Amos, JD; Tian, Y; Zhang, Z; Lowry, GV; Wiesner, MR; Hendren, CO
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