How useful is Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML)?

More and more biology friendly languages are coming on the dock and SBML is one among them. SBML has become highly popular among those who pursue systems biology.

The
word ‘biological mark up’ with the title gives away the nature of this
language!  Biology means the study of
living organisms, and mark up, means marking each of the biological structures
within the organism which make it.

Language
here refers to the computer software that scientists use in practice to
exchange data, databases and information with each other.  Biological research takes place in diverse
places, in fact all over the world, given that biological species, including
humans, differ in forms, content, certain organisms not present elsewhere.

And
since the study of biology has gone deep down to the elemental level, such as
the discovery of the DNA and RNA (which are considered the driving force for
organic biology), the level has now reached the genetic code stage. Considerable articles about DNA have now made headlines the world over: the discovery of
the DNA, the genetic code cracking which has helped many people to get better drugs
and treatment, its helping to reconcile evidences of crime, and also the parentage by
comparing the genetic code (more famously known as the DNA test).

Since
these studies are carried out simultaneously everywhere in the world, members of the
scientific community were using different types computer software, and thus there was difficulty in obtaining
information from other computers which could help other scientists. In the
research community, knowledge is not hoarded but shared.

Thus
was born the systems biological markup language (SBML). A meeting was held and It was agreed upon
by the researchers, software professionals, and systems analysts who attended. It was decided here that henceforth the databases would be
based on this software, using the XML language feature.

This
helped the researchers to reach into other databases. Since SBML was written
in open source code, they could incorporate the software within their own
software, and make changes in order to make their research jobs easier.

This
software underwent a number of changes, and has now become the industry
standard for biology and biomedical informatics professionals. Researchers may borrow or place
their own findings in databases using this language feature, thereby giving a
considerable push to sharing research across borders. The information can also be shared across various
software packages being used by the community.

The
software is continuously updated depending upon the feedback received from the
researchers. A team  makes any necessary updates or modifies the language
to meet the emerging needs of researchers.