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IBM, Cornell Partner to Research Milk Safety

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – IBM and Cornell University today announced that they have partnered to apply next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics to milk safety.

Through the alliance, Cornell has joined the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, an initiative launched by IBM and Mars in early 2015 to improve food safety using genomic technologies. Bio-Rad Laboratories joined the consortium in 2016.

According to IBM and Cornell, they will collect genetic data from the microbiomes of raw milk samples under real-world conditions at the university's dairy processing plant and farm in Ithaca, New York. These initial data will form a raw milk baseline that will be used by the consortium to expand its existing bioinformatic analytical tools, and to conduct studies comparing the baseline with known anomalies to help create models that can be used for additional studies.

"Through this partnership with Cornell University, we are extending the consortium work to a broader range of ingredients, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, to gain new insights into how microorganisms interact within a particular environment," Jeff Welser, vice president and director of IBM Research, Almaden, said in a statement. 

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Cornell to develop new ways to help keep our food supply safe before fraud or contamination hits by developing advanced algorithms, applying machine learning, and mathematical modeling to sequence data," added Kristen Beck, technical lead researcher for the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain.