The human Blood 

"The study of the blood has a long history. Humankind probably always has been interested in the blood because it is likely that even primitive people realized that loss of blood was associated with death".

Maxwell M. Wintrobe, In: Blood, pure and eloquent: a story of discovery, of people and of ideas

The set of blood-related ontologies

The blood-related ontologies are:

    • BLO-Core Ontology
    • Ontology for Management of Blood-related Processes
    • Ontology for Blood Products
    • Ontology for Administrative and Regulatory Blood-related Documents
More about each component of the BLO can be found in BLO extensions page

The need of a ontology of human blood

Despite the importance of human blood within the scope of Medical practice and research, data about Hematology and Hemotherapy remain scattered throughout a range of disparate sources. This lack of sistematization poses problems to physicians, biologists, researchers and the technical staff at blood banks in their ordinary activities involving the manipulation of blood, as well as its derivative products. The Blood Ontology is a set of co-related ontologies being created to gather and represent data about blood according to well-founded ontological principles. 

Blood Ontology Strategy of Development

The challenge posed by the task of constructing terminologies in the medical field is remarkable due to the amplitude of the subject matter and the multiplicity of the existing interpretations for medical data. In the process of developing information systems it can be seen that there is an overlap of terms in distinct terminologies. Thus, one of the main preoccupations in approaching the medical domain is to integrate the different existing terminologies. 

Ontologies stand as an alternative approach to these challenges in the domain of Medicine. “Ontology” is a term that can be traced back to Aristotle, it originated in philosophy and has been used in Information and Computer Science to describe a hierarchical structure based on concepts and relations.  

The use of ontologies in Medicine and Biology projects has been focused on the reorganization of terminologies, a complex task that requires a detailed analysis of both the structure and of the concepts. The profusion of medical ontologies seen in recent years and the appearance of open data repositories could attest to the feasibility of the approach for Life Sciences. 

With the aim of fostering interoperability among ontologies and taking advantage of prior developments, the BLO relies on well-consolidated initiatives, namely those pertaining to the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry. The OBO is an open-source repository, in which has been gathered a huge amount of biomedical data organized into ontologies. In addition, the OBO Foundry provides the grounds for the development of ontologies conforming to the best practices for organizing information.