Tuesday January 10, 2006
research is being added to at an alarming rate: the Human Genome
Project alone is generating enough documentation to "sink battleships".
So it’s not surprising that academics seeking data to support a new
hypothesis are getting swamped with information overload. As data banks
build up worldwide, and access gets easier through technology, it has
become easier to overlook vital facts and figures that could bring
about groundbreaking discoveries.
The government’s response has been
to set up the National Centre for Text Mining, the world’s first centre
devoted to developing tools that can systematically analyse multiple
research papers, abstracts and other documents, and then swiftly
determine what they contain.
The article above also cites some recent discoveries that have been enabled by text-mining approaches:
Social tagging: Biology > Collaboration Tools > Collective Intelligence > Global Brain and Global Mind > Group Minds > Knowledge Management > Medicine > Productivity > Search > The Metaweb
The more breathtaking results have included the discovery of new
therapeutic uses for the drug Thalidomide to treat conditions such as
chronic hepatitis C and acute pancreatitis and that chlorpromazine may
reduce cardiac hypertrophy – enlargement of the heart leading to heart