GENETICS: IBM Joins Effort to Map Human Code
IBM Corp. announced yesterday that it will join SNP Consortium, the collaboration of drug companies and academic laboratories working to compile a map of the human genetic code, the Washington Post reports. The firms are paying the labs to develop a preliminary map of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which might provide clues to disease origins and drug effectiveness. IBM's move is part of a "broad, aggressive push into the field known as 'computational biology.'" Powerful computers are becoming an important part of managing the information the Human Genome Project and private companies have compiled about genetics. Dan McCurdy, IBM vice president for life sciences, said, "Some people have said life sciences will be to the first few decades of this century what semiconductors were to the last few decades of the last century. I believe that's true" (Gillis, 1/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.