NamesforLife was founded to solve a long-standing problem in biology: resolution of the ambiguity between nomenclature and biological objects and concepts. NamesforLife technology, N4L, makes names actionable. In a N4L-enabled document or database, when encountering a name, the user clicks or mouses over it and a menu of authoritative information is displayed: an up-to-date historical record of both the name and taxon in its current and prior states and its synonyms; technical and non-technical papers in which the organism is a key subject; information about its availability from biological resource centers, databases holding molecular sequence data; and reliable information regarding its pathogenicity, utility, and safety requirements are made available.
Exemplars are representations of knowledge about physical entities, and are a novel component of the NamesforLife method. They resolve in real time to current data, related concepts, names and terms in end-user services.
N4L Architecture provides the necessary infrastructure to link end-users to the information they need, when they need it, even when the name or taxonomic concepts may have changed over time. Links from the point of need (e.g., the occurrence of a name in an electronic document) to related data are dynamically maintained in the background. The user has no need to formulate a search query at some external portal. The technology is designed to provide a knowledge-to-knowledge system for the research community and for others seeking to have an organized, reliable and accurate nomenclature and ontology tracking tools.
Through the development of N4L Architecture, NamesforLife provides a completely new approach to bibliographic retrieval, based upon the use of nomenclature as a means of linking to content.
The NamesforLife system and methods of semantic resolution are covered under US Patent 7,925,444. Other US and PCT patents pending.