First release of Adverse Outcome Pathway Wiki
A new IT tool in support of OECD's AOP Development programme enters the beta-testing phase
|Contact Name||JRC-IHCP, Alternative Methods|
An IT system to capture, manage and share Adverse Outcome Pathways[*] - AOP Wiki - has been made available for testing to an initial user group comprising current contributors to the OECD's AOP Development Programme, including members of the OECD Extended Advisory Group on Molecular Screening and Toxicogenomics (EAG MST) and the WHO/IPCS Mode of Action project group.
The Wiki leads AOP developers through the steps necessary to capture the scientific information needed to document and evaluate an AOP following recently published OECD guidance and provides an ideal collaboration-space for international AOP-development project teams. A Wikipedia-like system of user-friendly tables, drop-down-boxes and built-in functionality for automatic cross-referencing between related pages makes the tool extremely easy to use. A series of webinars are planned to familiarise the first user group with the process of entering information into the AOP Wiki and keeping their AOPs updated.
The development of the AOP Wiki has been made possible through the contributions of the European Commission's Joint Research Center, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and other parties, under the auspices of the OECD.
Thanks to the new IT system, AOP developers can create an AOP wiki page and then link it to related information about Molecular Initiating Events, Key Events, Adverse Outcomes and Chemical Initiators. Controlled-vocabulary drop-down lists from which to select Methods, Actions, Biological Objects, Life stages, Species etc. related to the AOP simplify the entry of ontology-based information. Information regarding Key Events and Adverse Outcomes shared among multiple AOPs is stored on a single page to eliminate redundant entries and make the collective knowledge about those entities available in all AOPs containing them. This format also facilitates the identification of potential intersections and cross-talk among AOPs.
The beta-testing phase lasted until the end of 2013, when the next development cycle started. Since January 2014 and until mid-2014, parties that have submitted an AOP project proposal are capturing their AOP knowledge in the system. The web site is expected to become freely available (read access) to the international scientific community before summer 2014.
[*] An Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) is a conceptual framework that portrays existing knowledge concerning the linkage between the two anchor points - the Molecular Initiating Event (MIE), and an Adverse Outcome (AO) that occurs at a level of biological organization relevant to risk assessment. At the heart of an AOP is a description of the causal chain of Key Events that lead from MIE to AO, supported by scientific evidence. The AOP framework is important for expanding the use of mechanistic toxicological data in chemical risk assessment and can guide, for example, the design and development of integrated assessment and testing strategies, weight-of-evidence approaches and computational models.
See also: More on AOP and AOP Wiki
Image: An example of AOP (liver fibrosis).