Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use Linux Networx cluster for analysis of smallpox vaccines

Salt Lake City 14 April 2003The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is using a Linux Networx Evolocity cluster supercomputer to study smallpox genomics in light of the threat of possible bioterror attacks. The cluster is designed to provide optimum performance for bioinformatics problems and will be used by the Biotechnology Core Facility Branch at CDC, the United States leading public health agency. Due to health problems caused by the current smallpox vaccine, CDC is using the extra computing power to study the disease and evaluate new vaccines.


Since the current smallpox vaccine can sicken recipients, and one to two out of every million recipients will die, CDC has been working to ensure public health concerning the vaccine. The Linux Networx computing system increases the agency's capacity to study various aspects of smallpox genomics, and it has already been helpful in ascertaining the usefulness of new vaccines.

Linux clustering is a method of linking multiple computers together to form a unified and more powerful system. Linux Networx recently shipped an 11,2 teraFLOPS cluster, which currently ranks as the world's fastest Linux supercomputer, and the fifth overall fastest supercomputer in the world, according to the TOP500 supercomputing list.

CDC is running multiple alignment programmes on the Linux Networx cluster including ClustalW, Dialign and MGA, to study how the disease functions. The cluster has improved computing performance for the agency, running 45 pairwise genomics alignments in one day compared to two weeks with a previous computing solution. The cluster is also used to run BLAST to quickly determine the function of newly discovered smallpox genes.

"Linux Networx offers life sciences customers a complete solution optimised to speed-up life sciences research", stated Eric Pitcher, Linux Networx Vice President, Product Marketing, Government, Industrial and Life Sciences. "We are honoured that CDC has chosen a Linux Networx system to study smallpox and assess vaccines more quickly, potentially averting life-threatening consequences from bioterrorism."

Linux Networx brings its powerful and easy-to-manage cluster technology to those demanding high performance computing and high availability systems. Linux Networx provides solutions for organisations involved in biotechnology research, oil and gas exploration, aeronautical and chemical modelling, graphics rendering and visual effects, and other technological research fields. Through its innovative Evolocity hardware, ICE cluster management tools and professional service and support, Linux Networx provides end-to-end clustering solutions.

Leslie Versweyveld

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