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Information technology, from software applications to special high-speed computers, networks, and storage, has transformed the life sciences. This paper is a brief overview of some of the biological processes and concepts that are central to the life sciences. It also relates how deep computing plays a key role for the life sciences. The papers in this issue of the IBM Systems Journal, and a companion issue of the IBM Journal of Research and Development, provide an outline of the methods and technologies by which an understanding of the basic molecules of life can lead to the treatment of disease and other benefits to humankind.
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