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SGI Altix, Accelrys, BioSimGrid, Prolexys, Ariadne, Iconix, SPICE Biosimulation Project


UConn to Use SGI Altix Computers for Bioinformatics, other Apps

The University of Connecticut School of Engineering has purchased two SGI Altix systems, Silicon Graphics said last week.

The university intends to use the systems for biomolecular modeling, biosimulation, and metabolic engineering as well as other research applications.

UConn purchased an eight-processor Altix 350 server with 8 GB of memory and a 64-processor Altix 3700 Bx2 supercomputer with 64 GB of memory.

The systems were installed in early November at the Booth Engineering Center for Advanced Technology, SGI said.

Accelrys Launches NanoBiology Initiative

During its AccelrysWorld user conference last week, Accelrys announced the launch of the Accelrys NanoBiology Initiative, which aims to "accelerate the development of computational modeling and informatics software that will enable scientists and engineers to apply nanotechnology to key areas of biological research, including diagnostics, biosensing, drug delivery and biomaterial design."

Leroy Hood, president and co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology, will chair the initiative's scientific advisory committee.

Accelrys said that it intends to draw from its experience in life science modeling, materials modeling, informatics, and workflow technology to develop "a comprehensive infrastructure of nanobiology software solutions."

The company said that it expects these applications to help researchers design nanoscale delivery platforms for drugs and diagnostics, nanoscale devices for biosensing and detection, and products for targeted medicine, systems biology, and biodefense.

PNNL Joins UK's BioSimGrid

The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory said last week that it has become the first institution outside the UK to join the Biological Simulation Grid Consortium, or BioSimGrid, of Great Britain.

The BioSimGrid was organized to share biosimulation data across the universities of Oxford, Southampton, Bristol, Birkbeck, Nottingham, and York.

Prolexys and Ariadne to Integrate Pathway Informatics Tools

Ariadne Genomics and Prolexys Pharmaceuticals will integrate their pathway-analysis tools, the companies said last week

Under the terms of the agreement, Prolexys' Human Interactome Database, a collection of more than 120,000 experimentally verified human protein-protein interactions, will be integrated with Ariadne's PathwayStudio and PathwayExpert pathway-analysis software.

The Prolexys database will be available from Ariadne Genomics for an additional fee to its commercial customers, Prolexys and Ariadne said.

FDA's CDER Renews License to Iconix DrugMatrix Database

Iconix Pharmaceuticals said last week that the US Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has renewed its license to the company's DrugMatrix chemogenomics database.

DrugMatrix was originally installed at the FDA in March 2003.

In the renewed agreement, the FDA's Interdisciplinary Pharmacogenomic Review Group, established in March, will have access to DrugMatrix. The role of the IPRG is to review Voluntary Genomic Data Submissions and to advise the FDA on interpretation and evaluation of pharmacogenomic data.

UK's SPICE Biosimulation Project Wins HPC Analytics Challenge

SPICE (Simulated Pore Interactive Computing Environment), a project to simulate DNA strands passing through the cell membrane, won the HPC Analytics Challenge at the Supercomputing 2005 conference in Seattle last week, the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council said last week.

SPICE uses technology developed under the UK's RealityGrid project to access supercomputers on the UK National Grid Service and the US TeraGrid.

Further information about the project is available at

Note: Because of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, BioInform will publish next week on Wednesday, Nov. 23. We will resume our normal publishing schedule on Friday, Dec. 2.

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