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Venter Greets Geeks, Geeks Greet Venter

DENVER, Nov. 13 - Celera Genomics president Craig Venter has asked the high-performance computing community for its help in solving the coming data challenges of life sciences research.


"All existing database structures are totally inadequate" for the next generation of biology, said Venter in his opening keynote address to SC2001, the annual supercomputing conference that began in Denver on Tuesday.


Venter's appearance before the leadership of the high-end computing community was a first for both: Venter, the first biologist to keynote at the ACM/IEEE supercomputing event, described SC2001 as "my first major computing conference."


Celera's database of genomic data is at 250 terabytes and growing, Venter said, and he foresees petabyte requirements for proteomics and perhaps exabyte requirements for his future vision of personalized medicine.


This year SC2001 has a new emphasis on computational biology, with an "Emerging Life Sciences" track today featuring presentations by Tod Klingler of Structural Genomix, Stanley Burt of the Advanced Biomedical Computing Center at NCI, Scooter Morris of Genentech, Bill Camp of Sandia National Laboratory, and Eamonn O' Toole of Compaq.


The week-long SC2001 event has attracted several thousand computer scientists to this city. The show historically prides itself on geeky, high-performance superlatives and this year's is SCinet2001, which has temporarily installed 15 gigabits per second of bandwidth into and out of the Colorado Convention Center here.


It was not immediately known whether Venter stayed at Denver's famous Adams Mark Hotel.  

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