Named entity recognition (NER) is the process of finding mentions of specified things in running text.
News Entities: People, Locations and Organizations
For instance, a simple news named-entity recognizer for English might find the person mention John J. Smith and the location mention Seattle in the text John J. Smith lives in Seattle.
Biomedical Entities: Genes, Organisms, Malignancies, Chemicals, …
There are a range of biomedical corpora available to find mentions of various entities. For instance, human fibrinogen and thrombin are mentions of genes in the sentence Native human fibrinogen was brought to coagulation by adding thrombin.