IBM supercomputer boosts cancer research

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An IBM supercomputer is to be deployed at Canada's Ontario Cancer Institute to search for more effective treatments for cancer..

The new system will analyse millions of images of proteins through automation, high resolution imaging and computer-based image classification in a bid to come up with more effective treatments for the disease.

The IBM System Cluster 1350 supercomputer includes 1,344 processor cores in a Linux cluster running at 12.5 teraflops (trillion calculations per second) with 150TB of storage, making it one of the fastest research clusters north of the US border.

"We need to better understand the specific function and interactions of proteins that cause cancer," said Dr Igor Jurisica of the Ontario Cancer Institute.

"This research will enable us to diagnose cancer earlier, before symptoms appear, to have the best chance of treating the disease."

Funded by grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, the supercomputer is ranked 395th in the recently announced top 500 list of global supercomputers.

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