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Commentary
Nature Genetics  25, 25 - 29 (2000)
doi:10.1038/75556

Gene Ontology: tool for the unification of biology

Michael Ashburner1, 5, Catherine A. Ball3, 5, Judith A. Blake4, 5, David Botstein3, 5, Heather Butler1, 5, J. Michael Cherry3, 5, Allan P. Davis4, 5, Kara Dolinski3, 5, Selina S. Dwight3, 5, Janan T. Eppig4, 5, Midori A. Harris3, 5, David P. Hill4, 5, Laurie Issel-Tarver3, 5, Andrew Kasarskis3, 5, Suzanna Lewis2, 5, John C. Matese3, 5, Joel E. Richardson4, 5, Martin Ringwald4, 5, Gerald M. Rubin2, 5 & Gavin Sherlock3, 5

1  FlyBase (http://www.flybase.bio.indiana.edu).

2  Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project (http://fruitfly.bdgp.berkeley.edu).

3  Saccharomyces Genome Database (http://genome-www.stanford.edu).

4  Mouse Genome Database and Gene Expression Database (http://www.informatics.jax.org).

5  The Gene Ontology Consortium

Correspondence should be addressed to J. Michael Cherry cherry@stanford.edu or David Botstein botstein@genome.stanford.edu, Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.
Genomic sequencing has made it clear that a large fraction of the genes specifying the core biological functions are shared by all eukaryotes. Knowledge of the biological role of such shared proteins in one organism can often be transferred to other organisms. The goal of the Gene Ontology Consortium is to produce a dynamic, controlled vocabulary that can be applied to all eukaryotes even as knowledge of gene and protein roles in cells is accumulating and changing. To this end, three independent ontologies accessible on the World-Wide Web (http://www.geneontology.org) are being constructed: biological process, molecular function and cellular component.

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Nature Genetics
ISSN: 1061-4036
EISSN: 1546-1718
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