Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This document serves as a running list of FAQs. If your question is not listed here, don’t hesitate to ask.

  • Who can use the platform?
    • Scientists and researchers working on COVID-19 testing, treatments, vaccines, and/or mechanisms as well as other microbial/microbiome researchers.
    • We are extending free access to these academic, government, or commercial users. If you use the IBM Functional Genomics Platform in your research, please cite us at http://ibm.biz/functional-genomics-citation
    • For additional details, please see the terms of use listed on our homepage http://ibm.biz/functional-genomics-terms
  • How do I get access?
  • Does each user need a user ID or can one user ID be used across my organization?
    • Each user needs their own ID. For security purposes, user account credentials should not be shared even if within a single organization.
  • How does the platform help with COVID-19?
    • The Functional Genomics Platform helps accelerate COVID-19 research for the discovery of new testing, treatments, and vaccines. It contains all of the genes, proteins, and functional protein domains for all public SARS-CoV-2 genomes. These domains define the molecular targets required to design a test for the virus (e.g. PCR primers and probes) or a vaccine. Furthermore, the sequence diversity of the molecular targets is increasing as the virus evolves in the population. We store and update data regularly to address the expanding sequence diversity of viruses.
  • What kind of data is in the IBM Functional Genomics Platform?
    • The IBM Functional Genomics Platform contains over 300M sequences of bacterial and viral genomes, genes, proteins, and their functional domains. We have also annotated GO terms and KEGG pathway information. The data has been pre-computed and the connections are already formed across these data types in a searchable manner through our web browser user interface or through our developer toolkit.
  • Can I use the IBM Functional Genomics Platform on my server/cloud/laptop?
    • Yes! After requesting a user account, you can use IBM Functional Genomics Platform via our Docker container, REST services, or Python SDK. To learn more, check out our developer toolkit at http://ibm.biz/functional-genomics-develop
  • What do I need to run the IBM Functional Genomics Platform?
    • To interact with our user interface, all you need is an internet-enabled device. The IBM Functional Genomics Platform works best in a modern browser like Google Chrome. To use the developer toolkit, you’ll need access to a computer (personal, compute cluster, cloud, etc.) and can find tutorials on how to get started in the Forums, Getting Started Guides, and documentation.
  • Can I use the IBM Functional Genomics Platform (formerly known as OMXWare) in a publication?
  • What is the policy for IP sharing?
  • Where can I learn more about IBM Functional Genomics Platform (formerly known as OMXWare)?
    • Please see our pre-print on arXiv. Since this submission, we have expanded our platform to include over 2M sequences from viral genomes, genes, proteins, and functional domains.
  • I haven’t received access yet. Why not?
    • At this point, we are tiering user access requests and giving priority to those actively researching SARS-CoV-2 genomics and molecular targets. We are actively reviewing the influx of users requests and responding as quickly as possible.
  • Who can I contact if I have questions regarding the platform and how to use it?