Semantic Interoperability and Biobanking - Setting Standards for European Tissue Economies
Department of Sociology University of Helsinki University of Helsinki, Finland
Recently a great deal of attention has been given to national or regional biobanking initiatives. The goal of many such initiatives is to study disease and thus provide the basis for developing treatments and medicines. At the same time, however, local biobanking initiatives and the data that can be derived from them are increasingly being embedded into a global network of biobanks, such as through BBMRI. These international collaborative networks necessitate and produce new forms of collaborative models within biomedical research, but also necessitate considerable national investments into biomedical research infrastructure and research. Database federation is the process by which data from different research projects can be brought together to form larger data sets for statistical analysis and the development of biomedical platforms. In order to do this, however, a great deal of standardization needs to take place between the various actors.
In this presentation, I will look at the way semantic interoperability operates to allow for such data exchange tasks. Semantic interoperability forms the basis for the development of tissue and informational economies within biobanking. At the same time, however, national tissue and informational economies become intertwined with the increasingly global market for information on the human body. From this I will derive some conclusions as to the direction and form that current and future biobanking initiatives will take in terms of practices in the biomedical sciences.