ITHACA, N.Y. -- On March 9, 2004, Cornell University participated in a groundbreaking ceremony 50 miles south of the Dead Sea, on the border between Israel and Jordan. Land donated by each country will be joined to form a 150-acre site for a research facility, the Bridging the Rift (BTR) Center, which will include the world's first databank of information about all living systems.
The databank will be the core of the facility's centerpiece, the Library of Life, led by Cornell and Stanford University scientists who will gather, organize and model information to quantify and characterize all living systems. The library will be a research and education center operating a databank, yet to be developed, that will assemble information on living systems, from microbes to plants to animals, using digital images and global positioning data. Information also will flow from ecological and environmental investigations, molecular research and DNA sequencing.
The research center will develop computer modeling systems to make predictions at genetic levels and to help understand coevolution of species and the ways in which ecology affects DNA, and the reverse. Both Cornell and Stanford will offer doctoral degrees at the BTR Center.