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BIOINFORMATICS BRIEFS: Nov 19, 2001

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MEETINGS

Celera Genomics president Craig Venter addressed the high-end computing community in his opening keynote address at the SC2001 supercomputing conference in Denver last week.

“All existing database structures are totally inadequate” for the next generation of biology, said Venter.

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

 

Sun Microsystems’ Computational Biology Special Interest Group met on November 11 as part of Sun’s HPC Consortium meeting November 10-11 in Denver.

The CB-SIG offers a forum for Sun customers to discuss recent scientific developments in bioinformatics, macromolecular structure, biosimulation/bionetworks, bioengineering, medical informatics, and medical imaging.

The meeting’s 36 participants heard talks on parallel computing and whole genome alignment, high-performance computing for reconstructing phylogenies from gene-order data, and other topics.

STORAGE

The Institute for Genomic Research has chosen Minneapolis-based Datalink to design, build, and support its data storage architecture.

Datalink deployed a clustered infrastructure to give TIGR’s researchers access to its DNA and protein sequence data for more than 25 organisms, as well as gene expression data, data on protein families, and taxonomic data for microbes, plants, and humans.

“Datalink really made an effort to understand our scientific needs and to ensure that the solution they recommended was the best one,” said Vadim Sapiro, director of information technology at TIGR, in a statement.

EDUCATION

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded the University of Buffalo $225,000 to develop bioinformatics-related professional master’s degrees.

The funding will support professional master’s degree programs in molecular chemical biology, computational chemistry, and environmental geographic information systems.

“Each of the three tracks involves, at some level, biology and chemistry, and each rests on the technology and mathematics that underpin effective computing,” said Bruce Pitman, vice provost for educational technology, in a statement.

The funding is “recognition of our existing strength in these new interdisciplinary fields and is welcome for the assistance it provides in growing master’s programs in the new areas demanded by industry as part of our Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics,” said Elizabeth Capaldi, UB provost.

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