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Cray and NCI Collaborate on Bioinformatics Supercomputing

NEW YORK, July 9 - The National Cancer Institute has produced a map of short tandem repeat sequences for the entire human genome using a Cray supercomputer, the organizations said Monday.

The project was an initial demonstration by the NCI's Advanced Biomedical Computing Center for the bioinformatic applications of the supercomputer, a Cray SV1. The computations, which took seconds to complete, would have taken hours on older computer systems, according to the organizations.

"In preliminary testing, the unique technologies available on Cray vector supercomputers have provided enormous speed-ups for full-scale analysis of some common types of bioinformatics problems," Bill Long, Cray's chief collaborator for the NCI work, said in a statement. "Assuming this validation continues, we believe there is a potential to make full-scale, exhaustive analysis of many bioinformatics problems feasible for the first time."

NCI and Cray are collaborating to create genome analysis software to identify and analyze genes involved in cancer and other diseases.

The Scan

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