IBM Open Sources Software for Sharing Life Sciences Data

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ARMONK, NY - 26 Mar 2003: IBM today announced the contribution of software for specifying a common method of naming and locating Life Sciences data. The software -- called the Life Sciences Identifier (LSID) Resolver -- provides a common way to name and find biological data, such as protein structures and DNA sequences.

The software is designed to make it far simpler for scientists and bioinformaticians to integrate information from many locations to aid bioinformatics research to facilitate drug discovery.

The LSID naming specification is a collaborative effort by members of the Interoperable Informatics Infrastructure Consortium (I3C), an international consortium comprised of life sciences and information technology organizations, formed in 2001 to promote data interoperability within life sciences. LSID makes it possible to name biologically significant data so that it can be easily shared across multiple systems and databases.

"I3C has encouraged its members to support the development of the LSID protocol with reference implementations such as the LSID Resolver," said Tim Clark, I3C chairman of the board. "The availability of this implementation in the open source community is a very positive development for the life sciences community and we welcome it. We hope it will encourage the exchange of scientific data and make research and collaboration easier and faster."

IBM is one of the first member organizations to develop a reference implementation of LSID. Today, most life sciences databases -- public and private -- have different methods for identifying and accessing biological data, making integration among different data sources a tedious chore for researchers. By making the LSID Resolver readily available to the open source community, IBM hopes to help scientists access bioinformatics data more easily.

The LSID Resolver can be downloaded from This source code is implemented on Web Services standards including SOAP and XML and is available for a number of popular languages like Java* and Perl.

The LSID Resolver was developed by the IBM Internet Technology lab based in Cambridge, MA in conjunction with IBM Life Sciences. The Internet Technology team's mission is to transform, extend, and accelerate IBM's use of Internet technology, both by creating cutting-edge applications for internal use and by moving the projects developed into products and services which IBM's customers can use in their businesses.

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