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ISU to Use IBM s BlueGene to Process Maize Genome Data

NEW YORK, Jan. 31 (GenomeWeb News) - Scientists sequencing the corn genome have purchased a $1.25 million IBM BlueGene supercomputer to process data, IowaStateUniversitysaid today.


The University purchased the supercomputer with a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and supplementary funding from the University. Researchers will use it to build assemblies for the maize project, which is being sequenced by scientists at WashingtonUniversityin St.Louis.


The BlueGene is the 73rd most powerful supercomputer on the current TOP500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers, containing 2,048 processors and 11 trillion bytes of data storage. It's capable of a peak performance of 5.7 teraflops, said the University.


"With the combination of the methodology by which you can carry out assemblies on a number of processors and the supercomputers, we expect to be able to build genome assemblies in a day," Srinivas Aluru, chair of bioinformatics and computational biology at ISU, told GenomeWeb News. "To my knowledge, no one is using massively parallel computers for building assemblies."


As GenomeWeb News reported in November, Iowa State is one of four universities selected by the National Science Foundation and the US Departments of Energy and Agriculture to help complete the $30 million corn genome project.

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