#79 MA:0000494 ! back bone


This is a slightly odd class. What does it mean exactly?

* "backbone" (no spaces) is sometimes used as a synonym for the entire vertebral column - which isn't a bone, it's a collection of bones
* a "bone of the back" would be a grouping class for any bone in the back of the organism. Depending on your organism subdivisions, this may just be a synonym for "vertebra"

The MA class "back bone" includes "vertebral column" as a subclass, but also includes individual vertebrae as subtypes - see attached.

the MA class 'back bone' should probably be merged into MA:0000309 ! vertebra
Similarly lower and upper back bone into lumbar and thoracic vertebra

If the intention is really to have a grouping class that includes the column and bones as subclasses, then the name might be better as "skeletal structure of back". But it's not clear why this would be necessary to have this grouping - having "vertebral column" as the part-parent seems fine.


  • Chris Mungall

    Chris Mungall - 2013-04-23

    MA subhierarchy around "back bone"

  • Terry Hayamizu

    Terry Hayamizu - 2013-04-23

    This is certainly a valid point. The term "back bone" was intended to represent any skeletal element in the back region. (Yes, I realize that a definition would be useful). It was envisioned that a general (e.g. phenotypic) description for "bones of the back" might potentially include reference to the scapula (http://www.informatics.jax.org/cookbook/figures/figure31.shtml) and/or dorsal parts of ribs (http://www.informatics.jax.org/cookbook/figures/figure32.shtml). I have seen this generalization used in describing human cases, but no evidence for its relevance in current mouse phenotypes or expression. Still, given the vagueness of descriptions in data sources, I question whether an annotator could assume the "bone of back" meant "vertebra" specifically.

  • Terry Hayamizu

    Terry Hayamizu - 2013-04-23
    • assigned_to: nobody --> hayamizu
    • labels: --> other request

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