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Army Computing Center Applies Defense Research Technology to Genomics

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MINNEAPOLIS--The University of Minnesota's Army High Performance Computing Research Center, which caters mostly to defense technologies, is conducting work in datamining with applications to genomics, according to the center's director, Vipin Kumar, who spoke about datamining at a functional genomics conference in Seattle in September.

"The key problem in bioinformatics is figuring out the functionalities of the genes that people are discovering," Kumar told BioInform. "It's a huge datamining problem." Kumar said techniques being developed here can also be applied to bioinformatics datasets, such as gene expression tables, and added that it is possible the Army will provide funding specifically for bioinformatics datamining research in years to come.

"We plan to make bioinformatics research a major focus in the future," said Kumar. "We have a number of researchers here in various departments who could collaborate."

The mission of the center, which was established by the Army in 1989, is to conduct computational science research in areas of defense technology.

"Datamining for genomics is a rapidly growing field fueled by enormous amounts of data and the need for intelligent analysis," Kumar remarked. "The large, high-dimensional nature of data requires new analysis techniques and algorithms. Scalable, fast algorithms are becoming indispensable, and there are many research and commercial opportunities."

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