DoubleTwist uses Sun supercomputers to process sequence data from the Human Genome Project

Oakland 08 May 2000The application service provider DoubleTwist has completed an extensive analysis of the currently available Human Genome Project data, revealing genes and other valuable data. This milestone was accomplished using Sun Enterprise supercomputers, including Starfire servers, and also DoubleTwist's proprietary genomic analysis software and its distributed processing system. DoubleTwist will continue to analyse the Human Genome Project data from its "working draft" to final form, and make this data available to scientists on its genomic research portal


"The Human Genome Project has done a tremendous job of providing the primary sequence of more than 80 percent of the genome to date. We have built upon this accomplishment by processing this data to reveal its most important information, the genes", stated John Couch, chairman and chief executive officer of DoubleTwist. "Further, we are providing a mechanism for scientists, in order to easily view and mine this information on"

"Now the stage has been set for a new era of discovery", stated Greg Papadopoulos, the chief technology officer for Sun Microsystems Inc. "What the Web browser is to the Internet, is to the human genome. It makes this whole complex collection of information easy to use."

DoubleTwist's proprietary multi-step genomic analysis pipeline includes multiple validated gene prediction algorithms, as well as methodologies based on elucidating DNA and protein similarities. To accomplish the initial annotation of the human genome and to facilitate the on-going genomic processing, DoubleTwist has developed a distributed processing system that facilitates high-throughput processing and analysis.

"Finding genes in the human genome is not trivial", commented Nick Tsinoremas, the director of Research at DoubleTwist. "We have developed a computationally and scientifically intense methodology designed to provide the best overall view of the human genome, including the location of the genes and their function. This is a foundation that enables further discovery."

DoubleTwist will equally license the database and associated data mining software directly to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for their drug discovery efforts. This software includes a Java-based, interactive data mining and visualisation tool which graphically represents the annotated human genome data, thus facilitating rapid gene discovery. In addition, DoubleTwist provides software that enables scientists to perform text-based queries to retrieve data of interest.

The DoubleTwist Human Genome Database was created with the use of Sun Enterprise 420R and 10K supercomputers, integrating a total of more than 350 processors. "Sun is proud to be the vendor behind the processing power, data storage capabilities, and robust operating environment for the Internet portal, which will enable scientists everywhere to mine human genome data", stated Sun's CTO Greg Papadopoulos.

"The massive amount of raw data which DoubleTwist has been able to analyse, thanks in part to supercomputers from Sun, will be invaluable to scientists searching for new and better treatments for disease", as he added.

DoubleTwist Inc. is an application service provider (ASP), which is devoted to empowering life scientists. The company provides research environments that leverage information technology and the World Wide Web to simplify and accelerate gene discovery. The company's Web site,, is an integrated technology platform that provides a secure and comprehensive research environment and community on the Web. The site provides users with a number of benefits, including automated research agents, continuous database monitoring, access to proprietary data and data mining tools.

Leslie Versweyveld

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