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BIOINFORMATICS BRIEFS: Nov 12, 2001

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Last week, Canada’s MDS Proteomics christened its 52,000 square foot proteomic research complex in Toronto, which houses an IBM supercomputing cluster that ranks among the top 10 non-military systems in the world in aggregate performance.

“This is Canada’s fastest supercomputer, capable of more than 600 million calculations per second,” said Caroline Kovac, general manager of IBM Life Sciences, in a statement. The system comprises three IBM eServer clusters — two in Toronto and one in Denmark — each with 100 servers running Linux.

IBM will also be providing the computational infrastructure for another proteomics company, Proteome Systems. Keith Williams, CEO of Proteome Systems told BioInform’s sister newsletter ProteoMonitor last week that an official announcement of the partnership, which will include hardware and middleware, is expected on November 20.

 

Pink slips were issued last week for employees affected by Sun Microsystems’ plan to lay off 9 percent of its global workforce, or 3,900 employees.

“The notification process started last Monday,” said Sun spokeswoman Diane Carlini of the layoffs, which were initially announced in early October.

Sun declined to break down its plans to scale back its staff by division, so it was unclear at press time how the company’s life sciences unit would be affected by the move.

 

DATA

Under an exclusive agreement, Compaq Canada is now the preferred distributor of the Celera Discovery System to Canada’s non-profit research community.

Under the terms of the agreement, qualifying research organizations have three options to acquire Celera database licensing. In the first case, Compaq has developed a number of product bundles that incorporate suitable hardware with the CDS. In cases where new hardware is not required, a percentage of the cost of Compaq-related and eligible products and services acquired by the researcher can be offset against the cost of the CDS subscription. In addition, eligible researchers may also purchase subscriptions directly from Compaq and Celera.

 

Lion Bioscience and Paradigm Genetics expanded their five-year strategic alliance to co-develop and co-market MetaTrace, a metabolic profiling database.

Under the terms of the expanded agreement, which began in January 2000, the companies will add data to MetaTrace, which is expected to contain biochemical profiling data predominantly from human cells, fluids, and tissues.

 

LINUX CLUSTERS

Scali, an Oslo, Norway-based supplier of software for scalable Linux systems, has signed DeCode Genetics of Reykjavik, Iceland, as its most recent customer. The company installed its Scali Universe cluster management software for a cluster of 26 Dell 1550 rack-mounted compute nodes equipped with dual 1 GHz Pentium III processors. The cluster was delivered in cooperation with Reykjavik-based Dell provider EJS.

The cluster is targeting genome sequencing and is expected to grow to 150 nodes when the software development phase is over, Scali said.

 

FUNDING

Jerusalem-based pharmaco-informatics company Clinical Discovery closed a $1.0 million round of seed funding last week, led by an Israel-based group of angel investors and an un-named US public company.

Clinical Discovery said the money would be used for R&D and prototype product development.

The company’s computational platform, currently under development, “ties the application of advanced computational and algorithmic technologies to drug discovery and drug development,” according to Arnold Goldman, CEO.

Product marketing is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2002, when the company plans to open an office in the northeastern US.

 

STORAGE

Gene expression database provider Gene Logic has selected EMC to provide storage capacity for its growing archive of data.

According to Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC, Gene Logic evaluated Hitachi, IBM, and Network Appliance storage solutions, but chose an EMC E-Infostructure for its storage area network and networked-attached storage environments. Gene Logic, based in Gaithersburg, Md., will migrate all of its gene expression data files and resulting data warehouse onto an EMC Enterprise Storage Network, comprising Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems, Connectrix switches, Sun Unix servers, and Dell Windows NT servers.

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