Earlier this month, I hinted at how InChIKeys might be used in Googling for chemical information, well, I missed a trick. In 2006, at the BioIT World Life Sciences Conference and Expo, Microsoft announced the formation of the BioIT Alliance. The Alliance is a group of organizations working together to realize the potential of personalized medicine. Now, the Institute of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has joined the club. IUPAC’s contribution to the enterprise will lie primarily in being responsible for establishing standards in chemical information transmission. In this regard the InChI/InChIKey system will be critical to success.
IUPAC representative Stephen Heller says: The InChI/InChIKey is the first publicly available unique chemical identifier, which allows scientists to link and exchange information and data across the chemosphere and in the life sciences. The InChI/InChIKey is the molecular equivalent of a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), the journal article tracking code. “The InChI/InChIKey is an agent of change and an agent of the future for linking the chemical, biochemical, and biomedical information and data on the web,” says Heller. It will now provide the Microsoft BioIT Alliance with a much simpler, and free, way to work with chemical information.