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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Internet Pioneer to Chart Web's Next Leap
22 March 2010 2:48 pm
Tim Berners-Lee, the non-Al Gore inventor of the World Wide Web, is teaming up with Web science expert Nigel Shadbolt of the University of Southampton, Highfield, in the United Kingdom to create the Institute of Web Science, an organization dedicated to helping the United Kingdom extract maximum benefit from the arrival of Web 3.0. The project was kick started today with £30 million ($45 million) from the U.K. government.
Web 3.0, or the "semantic web" as Berners-Lee prefers to call it, is based on the idea that computers will not only be able to retrieve information from the World Wide Web but to understand it as well, or at least to put information in context, thus ensuring that the results of a search are most likely to be the ones you want.
Computer scientist Michael Foreman of the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom says this ability to put information in context has the potential to help scientists all over the world work together on a project. "At present," he says, "the amount of new data produced in the world is doubling roughly every 18 months—approximately the rate at which our computational power is increasing or even slightly faster." Individual scientists can often be pursuing a research project, he explains, without being aware of how it relates to a larger picture. Computers, he believes, might in the future be able to help pull the disparate strands together. Take research into modeling diseases and climate. "These are huge systems generating masses of data, and you have to understand these systems if you want to make your interventions more efficient," says Foreman. He sees the biggest short-term challenge of developing Web 3.0 as getting all the data in particular fields online in a similar format so that computers can mine the data and identify patterns.
The U.K. government has already been involved in projects to create linked data sets for several areas of British research, including plastic electronics, radio-frequency identification, regenerative medicine, and advanced composite materials. In addition, Shadbolt has collaborated with information engineer Mike Brady of the University of Oxford in a pilot study into the use of semantic computing to coordinate cancer treatment across different disciplines.