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DOE Awards Supercomputer Hours for Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Department of Energy will make its supercomputers available to life sciences researchers for projects that require massive computer modeling and data handling needs.

Under the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, DOE has awarded a total of 1.6 billion processor hours to 69 projects in a wide range of fields, including biology projects and studies in climate science, new energy solutions research, and environmental studies of such phenomena as earthquakes or hurricanes.

The biology projects include studies to understand protein membranes to improve drug discovery, diagnostics, and research into human diseases. The supercomputers are located at DOE's Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

"Computation and supercomputing are critical to solving some of our greatest scientific challenges," DOE Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement. "This year's INCITE awards reflect the enormous growth in demand for complex modeling and simulation capabilities, which are essential to improving our economic prosperity and global competitiveness."

Some of the life sciences awardees include: Aleksai Aksimentiev at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, who is studying DNA using MspA, a protein used in nanopore sequencing; Ivaylo Ivanov at the University of California-San Diego and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, who will use the processing hours to study molecular machines, and Andrew Binkowski of the Argonne National Laboratory, who will use the processing hours to study protein-ligand interaction simulations and analysis.