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A wiki for capturing and sharing biological knowledge

Reshma P. Shetty and Jeremy Muhlich


Much of the knowledge produced by biological research is passed down by oral tradition.

This makes it difficult for newcomers to enter the field.

Solution: OpenWetWare


OpenWetWare's contributions

  1. Democratizing and disseminating content generation
  2. Digitization of biological knowledge, as it is generated

Courses on OpenWetWare


Student contributions to OpenWetWare


Model Construction and Documentation


Models Are Poorly Communicated

Knowledge generated during model building is lost!

It is difficult to:

  1. construct a new model
  2. build on published models
  3. evaluate published models
  4. involve experimentalists

What About MIRIAM, SBML, etc?

  1. MIRIAM - Minimum Information Requested in the Annotation of Biochemical Models
  2. SBML - Systems Biology Markup Language

OK for publishing, but too complicated for discovery!

Can we design something more "agile" while utilizing and respecting the established standards?

  1. systematize data
  2. follow so-called "80/20" rule
  3. "living" models
  4. wikis foster communication

Image:Yeastpheromonemodel home page.png

Image:Yeastpheromonemodel reaction page.png

OpenWetWare's success

  • 2,800 contributors
  • 100 labs
  • 1.5 million pageviews per month
  • 275,000 sessions per month

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