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J Biomed Semantics. 2014 Feb 25;5(1):10. doi: 10.1186/2041-1480-5-10.

Mining images in biomedical publications: Detection and analysis of gel diagrams.

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Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, ETH Zurich, Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


Authors of biomedical publications use gel images to report experimental results such as protein-protein interactions or protein expressions under different conditions. Gel images offer a concise way to communicate such findings, not all of which need to be explicitly discussed in the article text. This fact together with the abundance of gel images and their shared common patterns makes them prime candidates for automated image mining and parsing. We introduce an approach for the detection of gel images, and present a workflow to analyze them. We are able to detect gel segments and panels at high accuracy, and present preliminary results for the identification of gene names in these images. While we cannot provide a complete solution at this point, we present evidence that this kind of image mining is feasible.

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