The Gene Ontology (GO) is a major bioinformatics initiative to unify the representation of gene and gene product attributes across all species. More specifically, the project aims to: 1) maintain and develop its controlled vocabulary of gene and gene product attributes; 2) annotate genes and gene products, and assimilate and disseminate annotation data; and 3) provide tools for easy access to all aspects of the data provided by the project, and to enable functional interpretation of experimental data using the GO, for example via enrichment analysis. GO is part of a larger classification effort, the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO). Whereas gene nomenclature focuses on gene and gene products, the Gene Ontology focuses on the function of the genes and gene products. The GO also extends the effort by using markup language to make the data (not only of the genes and their products but also of curated attributes) machine readable, and to do so in a way that is unified across all species (whereas gene nomenclature conventions vary by biological taxon).