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BIRNLex is a controlled vocabulary for annotation of Biomedical Informatics Reseach Network (BIRN) data sources. These sources currently include image databases, containing data from structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on human subjects involved in studies on Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, and multiscale imaging of mouse models of human neurological disease using MRI, light and electron microscopic imaging.

Many of the terms are drawn from existing terminologies and ontologies such as the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS), the Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA), Neuronames, the Gene Ontology, the Ontology of Biomedical Investigation (OBI) and the Phenotype and Trait Ontology (PATO), and, along with these constituent ontologies, BIRNLex will be made publicly available to search and browse via the NCBO BioPortal. These terms will form the basis of a more formal ontology describing the multiscale investigation of neurological disease - the MIND ontology.

The BIRNLex is maintained by the BIRN Ontology Task Force (OTF).

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