IRIS AI and a wondrous rabbit hole of a labelled network of scientific papers

Got an email from the developers of IRIS AI the other day:


And decided to play around with it. So I went to our Zotero collection on microbiology of the built environment:

From there I got a paper and found it’s URL:

Meadow, J. F., Altrichter, A. E., Kembel, S. W., Kline, J., Mhuireach, G., Moriyama, M., Northcutt, D., O’Connor, T. K., Womack, A. M., Brown, G. Z., Green, J. L ., Bohannan, B. J. M. Indoor airborne bacterial communities are influenced by ventilation, occupancy, and outdoor air source

I then went to IRIS



Clicked on Explore



I pasted the URL into the bar: and waited and this came up


I clicked on Explore and voila – 235 papers sorted by categories


One can then get some metrics or zoom in on different categories. I zoomed in:


and more


and inside each box are papers of possibly relevance.  And it really did a pretty good job of both finding possibly connected papers and finding papers I was not aware of.  Wow — good first test.  So I tried another.

Albert Barberán, Robert R. Dunn, Brian J. Reich, Krishna Pacifici, Eric B. Laber, Holly L. Menninger, James M. Morton, Jessica B. Henley, Jonathan W. Leff, Shelly L. Miller, Noah Fierer. The ecology of microscopic life in household dustscreen-shot-2016-10-09-at-8-21-43-am

And it found 477 papers


So I zoomed in on some topics.  Some were relevant to me some not but that is OK.  I found one relevant. And it led me down an awesome rabbit hole



To a specific paper from 2008–


And then by clicking browse paper I could look at connections for this paper.


And then into the rabbit hole again


Honestly, I am off, on a Sunday morning, to play around more with IRIS so I am stopping with this post.  It is a nice rabbit hole to go into.  I definitely think it is worth checking out.

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Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. My lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and I hold appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis (see my lab site here which has more information on lab activities).  In addition to research, I am heavily involved in the Open Access publishing and Open Science movements.