The Versatility of Databases{4}

by Jorge R
The article I read covers how databases do much more than store data;it provides researchers with an array of new methods for solving crimes, counter malware, and linking libraries all around the world. This is done by creating a Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), which was designed by the FBI in 1990. The primary purpose of this system is to index millions of DNA samples, in an effort to solve crime investigations. It is used by comparing DNA from old and new crime scenes to find a match. Another use for databases was to develop a defense system for malware hence the creation of MD:PRO. It is a database with more than 15 million sample of malicious computer programs. It is used to help researchers try to combat new and future malware. In order to secure the system, MD:PRO monitors its users to avoid inappropriate use of the data. A new method of using databases was used in linking all the libraries around the world in one single place, which sparked the creation of WORLDCAT 40 years ago. It was an effort to store books, movies,maps, music and research papers from different countries around the world. This resource helped an economist find that, “… spikes and drops in the number of new technology books tend to precede economic expansions and recessions (respectively) by approximately one year”.

This article is relevant to the class because it shows us alternate methods of using databases. They do much more than store data, but helps researchers learn and study a wide range of data only made available within the past few years. This can be used as a gateway for future development of research and new uses for databases.

WHERE DATA LIVES. (2011). Popular Science, 279(5), 52.