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IBM POWER7 system at Rice offers free cycles for medical research

Chron.com, the online presence of The Houston Chronicle, reported yesterday on a new super to be installed at Rice University. The system is one of the early POWER7-based systems shipped by IBM

IBM logoIBM has given Rice one of its first supercomputers with the company’s new POWER7 microprocessors, a $7.6 million award, on the condition that Rice open up access to the computer to all in the Texas Medical Center. For free.

This effort builds on earlier collaborations between TMC and Rice, and peaks out at about 18 TFLOPS

When combined, Rice’s ‘Blue BioU’ system is accordingly 18 times more powerful than Deep Blue. It doubles Rice’s existing supercomputer capacity.

Just one planned use? Genomics

Baylor College of Medicine is participating in a federal project to ascertain the genetics of 20,000 tumor samples from 20 different cancers….But Baylor doesn’t want to just store the information, it wants to cross reference each of these 100 DNA sequences with the originally sequenced version of human DNA to see which gene mutations might contribute to ovarian cancer.

So they’ll try to run the analysis on Rice’s new machine. Worley expects it will take hours, when it now takes weeks.

More in the article.

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