University of Alabama employs Blue Gene supercomputer to study tumour formations

Birmingham 30 July 2007The University of Alabama (UAB) at Birmingham has acquired an IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer for biological research, tripling its computing power. The new supercomputer will allow the university to enhance its capabilities in computational biology and molecular simulations.


"Blue Gene will help our researchers make breakthrough simulations of biological processes such as blood flow in arteries and capillaries around tumours", stated Dr. Richard Marchase, vice president for research and economic development at UAB. "A computing facility anchored by Blue Gene will also give the university an advantage in recruiting top faculty and researchers. It also builds a foundation for a world-class computational biology centre at the university."

The new Blue Gene/L system is capable of performing 5,6 trillion calculations every second. It will be used to help study, simulate and find ways to impede or halt biological activity in human tissue that leads to tumours and other life-threatening diseases. This supercomputer proves to be the most promising for extending the length of simulations to the microsecond scale and beyond.

"Blue Gene has proven itself an essential instrument of discovery for scientists around the globe", stated Dave Turek, VP of deep computing for IBM. "Now researchers at UAB will be able to simulate critical processes that occur in microseconds, allowing for slow-motion study of previously invisible systems."

The University of Alabama at Birmingham strives to be a research university and academic health centre that discovers, teaches and applies knowledge for the intellectual, cultural, social and economic benefit of Birmingham, the state and beyond.

Leslie Versweyveld

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