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Indiana University, South African National Bioinformatics Institute

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IU to Support Bioinformatics Startups with New Incubator

Indiana University''s Advanced Research and Technology Institute (ARTI) said bioinformatics would play an important role in a new technology incubator it is developing.

ARTI purchased a downtown Indianapolis office building that will be transformed into the Indiana University Emerging Technology Center with space for both business offices and lab facilities.

ARTI will occupy the building in late fall 2002. IU funded the initiative, along with a share of money from a settlement involving United Airlines.

The technology center will add an economic development component to life science research efforts already underway under the Indiana Genomics Initiative and the Indiana Proteomics Consortium and at the IU School of Informatics and School of Medicine.

An ARTI spokesman said that several young bioinformatics companies have applied for a spot in the incubator, but decisions on tenants will not be made until January.

SANBI Flips the Switch on Africa''s First Research Supercomputer

Last week, the South African National Bioinformatics Institute hit the “on” button for its new 8-gigaflop Cray supercomputer, the first research computer of its scale on the African continent.

SANBI has been collaborating with Cray for around four months using a remote SV1 machine to perform and speed up EST clustering projects [BioInform 07-01-02]. The newly installed system, officially inaugurated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony by South African education minister Kader Asmal, will allow researchers at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town to predict gene transcription, study genomic-scale transcription, and observe the phylogenetics of strains of HIV.

SANBI researchers will adapt their bioinformatics applications to run on the eight-processor system, which SANBI researchers have dubbed “Crunchie the Cray.” SANBI head Winston Hide told a GenomeWeb.com reporter that he prefers to call it “a dancing hippo,” noting, “it''s ugly as hell, but when it dances it sure is wonderful.”

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