Vertebrate skeletal anatomy workshop

Probably the most important branch of an anatomy ontology for vertebrates – at least from the standpoint of comparative morphologists, paleontologists, systematists – is the skeleton.  We invited a small group of bone and cartilage experts to come to a workshop at NESCent April 9-10, 2010, with the goal of reviewing, revising, and altogether enhancing the skeletal branch of the various vertebrate anatomy ontologies.  We had representation from the amphibian and teleost multispecies anatomy ontologies, the vertebrate model organism ontologies (zebrafish, Xenopus, mouse), and the cell ontology, as well as expert ontologists to advise on best representation (see our wiki page for their names and slides from their brief introductory presentations).  The workshop was productive beyond our expectations: we produced a ‘generic’ skeletal ontology that can be plugged into all vertebrate anatomy ontologies.  The files (including the useful cmap files) are under review by workshop participants at the moment, and we will be posting the outcome as a Vertebrate Skeletal Ontology in the obo foundry within the month.  Let us know if you want to review some giant spreadsheets of bone terms and relationships in the next few weeks….

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