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ICM's New Blue Gene Supercomputer Supports The Largest Biomedical Research Initiative In Poland
Date:4/4/2013

tection and timely diagnosis of these diseases translate into well-targeted and optimized healthcare, as well as improved quality of a patient's life. Similar demands could stimulate the need to carry out clinical and pre-clinical tests covering three to five million Polish citizens, and generate massive volumes of valuable health data which can, in turn, be used by laboratories.

ICM's new Blue Gene/Q, code named Nostromo, will help scientists process up to 16 terabytes of Big Data per one sequence by running compute-intensive simulations at the speed of 209.7 trillion operations per second. The supercomputer will use algorithms moving beyond the "routine" sequencing of human or animal genomes, to tackle more complex processes that will reveal the rare variants in human genetics, (i.e. those that cause predispositions to Alzheimer's, cancer, diabetes, downs syndrome, etc.). By understanding what prevents protein molecules, which build and maintain human bodies, from folding up properly and triggering a disease, scientists will be able to develop a new drug or treatment, (i.e. "build" their own molecules or block the action of undesirable enzymes).

"The process of developing and generating a new drug or treatment normally takes up to three years, and costs have nearly quadrupled in the past 15 years," said Prof. Marek Niezgodka , Director of ICM. "With Nostromo, we expect to increase the simulation speed which will bring us much closer to the era of "personalized medicine," when preventative approaches can be tailored to a specific condition."

Nostromo currently ranks N 143 on the Top500.org list and N 9 on Green500.org. The system has already been installed by IBM Poland and Qumak SA, IBM's Business Partner.

"IBM delivered the most powerful single architecture supercomputer for the ICM of Poland.  Nostromo is able to process up to 16 TB of Big Data per one sequence by running simulations at the speed of
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