Taming the World Wide Web

A rising tide of companies are tapping Semantic Web technologies to unearth hard-to-find connections between disparate pieces of online data

When Eli Lilly scientists try to develop a new drug, they face a Herculean task. They must sift through vast quantities of information such as data from lab experiments, results from past clinical trials, and gene research, much of it stored in disparate, unconnected databases and software programs. Then they've got to find relationships among those pieces of data. The enormity of the challenge helps explain why it takes an average of 15 years and $1.2 billion to get a new drug to market.

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