A New Horizon for SVG: Bioinformatics

Benjamin Horsman
Simon Fraser University
TH 17-C Chilcotin House
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC
Canada V5A 1S6
Phone: 604-630-6000 ext1575
E-mail: bhorsman@sfu.ca

Bioinformatics represents an important new application domain for SVG. This presentation will provide a demonstration of the suitability for SVG as a technology for use in scientific visualization, specifically in the emerging field of bioinformatics. The ongoing efforts by researchers to sequence and annotate the genomes of humans and other organisms has produced an overwhelming amount of raw data. Bioinformatics is a research area concerned with constructing tools to aggregate, prioritize, and process this data so as to yield novel insights. Graphical visualization and analysis of data sets are critical elements of the bioinformatics approach, and SVG presents exciting opportunities as a flexible, database-driven graphics solution.

This presentation will begin with a brief outline on the current uses of SVG technology in genome sciences. Next, we will explore the possibilities of SVG in bioinformatics by demonstrating how several popular web-based genome databases can be optimized and extended through the use of SVG. This section will highlight the features and associated scripting techniques of SVG technology that are most desirable to researchers in the bioinformatics world. Finally, the presentation will provide a case study and demonstration of a fully functioning "real-world" application of SVG in bioinformatics. This publicly-accessible research database uses SVG as a graphical front-end built with MAGE-ML (an XML derivative, more information at http://www.mged.org/Workgroups/MAGE/mage-ml.html) to allow researchers to visualize data from a multitude of DNA microarray experiments. Please note that this presentation will be geared towards designers and anyone interested in incorporating SVG into their real-world solutions. As such, the material will presented in a designer-friendly manner, with a minimal amount of biological technical jargon.