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Emergent behavior of growing knowledge about molecular interactions

A billion nonredundant molecular interactions lie buried in the biomedical literature. A text-mining approach could help scientists better exploit this knowledge.

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Figure 1: Hypothetical and actual modes of growth of the knowledge about molecular interactions.
Figure 2: 'Temperature' of a journal and its correlation with 'novelty' and impact factor.
Figure 3: Illustration of the existence of knowledge pockets: the facts produced in one subfield are largely invisible to other subfields.
Figure 4: Extrapolation-based estimate of the number of molecular relationships that can be extracted from the full-text research articles from the currently available biomedical and chemical journals, assuming that the currently available technology is used for information extraction.


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We are grateful to Igor G. Feldman, Sidonie T. Jones, Lyn Dupré Oppenheim, James J. Russo, Rita Rzhetsky, Bengü Sezen and Kenneth C. Smith for numerous invaluable comments regarding earlier versions of this article, and to Harmen Bussemaker for the suggestion of naming the α-parameter 'temperature.' This study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to A.R.

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Cokol, M., Iossifov, I., Weinreb, C. et al. Emergent behavior of growing knowledge about molecular interactions. Nat Biotechnol 23, 1243–1247 (2005).

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