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IBM's Role
Introduction   |   Genographic Story   |   Global Field Research
The Genographic Legacy Fund   |   Public Participation   |   IBM's Role  


IBM Values

IBM Values"IBM and National Geographic are embarking on an historic initiative into our common histories," said Samuel J. Palmisano, chairman and CEO of IBM. "Our two organizations have long contributed to scientific exploration and achievement, extending in different ways the boundaries of human knowledge and understanding. We continue this tradition of innovation that matters for the world and welcome the participation of the hundreds of thousands of people who will join in this amazing journey."

As a company, IBM will have learned to find even more ways of making information work for people - and we'll be able to teach ourselves to do even more for our clients and for the world at large. But the reach of this project goes far beyond the corporation. What we find and what we will learn will be here forever.

Field research technology built by IBM is revolutionizing the Genographic geneticists' ability to collect, manage, store and securely transmit background data on sample participants in every corner of the globe. These systems are deployed on six continents to scientists from prominent international institutions charged with conducting genetic field research.

Customized field software captures the phenotypic or "context" data of DNA samples on a given research trip. It's designed so that dozens of languages and regions are acknowledged while cross-populating other fields with related data, making collecting for a group of people in the same region much faster and more accurate.

By using the latest computational techniques and the latest technology in communication and data management, IBM is enabling this massive research undertaking that would have been impossible as little as ten years ago.

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Cutting Edge Technology

Cutting Edge Technology Technology plays a critical role in the Genographic Project. Our emerging technologies team is excited to lead the charge in designing and providing the multiple solutions required for this initiative to truly take flight and be sustained for the next five years.

IBM is committed to ensuring that the information technology provided to the project is always one step ahead of where the research team requires it to be. The systems enhance and accelerate the capabilities of the scientific team. We ask them only to push to fulfill their dreams for answering key questions about mankind, and IBM will make the technology needed to transform those dreams into a reality.

The DNA Analysis Repository (DAR) is one example of the substantial information technology capability of the Genographic Project. Already a formidable data warehousing and access solution with over a terabyte of available storage, it will grow as the project expands, with the ability to integrate the latest toolsets and data mining capabilities as they come online.

We listened to the needs of our scientific team as we planned the execution of the Genographic Project.

What we heard was their compelling desire to share knowledge and best practices with their fellow Genographic team colleagues, regardless of geographic or time differences. In that way, these leading scientists could collaborate as a true team, furthering the project's goals.

IBM's latest community tools have been applied to the team's field collection systems. When connected to the Internet, these tools provide instant messaging and other real-time communication capabilities that link our principal investigators as never before. And as with all the technology provided here, IBM will continue to upgrade and enhance these tools as they're designed and introduced. In fact, efforts like the Genographic Project help our people learn more about how our technologies can evolve, and inspire us to create new ones.

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Life Sciences

Life SciencesThe last decade has seen substantial advancements in life sciences and genetics. At the same time, computing power and flexibility reached unprecedented levels. IBM recognized this transformation in the life sciences field, and five years ago built a combined healthcare and life sciences organization with hundreds of employees worldwide. Many have advanced science degrees and are deeply committed to providing IT solutions that are directly based on the needs of this branch of science.

It is the substantial domain expertise in the life sciences field that made IBM unique in its ability to partner with National Geographic Society in the Genographic Project. We believe that technology must be crafted with an intimate knowledge of the community it will serve, and we have built a leading life sciences organization to execute on that belief. Because of our ability to provide this expertise in a complimentary fashion, National Geographic Society can focus on its own substantial core competencies around driving science and education worldwide.

In addition to the substantial people and IT resources being devoted to the Genographic Project, IBM is also proud to be funding the project overall through our IBM Foundation. To support the Genographic Project in communities around the world, including those areas where field research will be conducted, IBM is also conducting global education and outreach as a way to encourage new participants to join the project. IBM is further involving its people by creating Genographic-related education outreach volunteer activities through the IBM On Demand Community.

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The Genographic Project
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Discover humanity's great journey.

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A research partnership of  National Geographic and IBM
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