IBM is looking to accelerate genome research by providing the University of Missouri with a cloud-based environment to conduct studies.

IBM announced that it would provide the university’s bioinformatics department with access to a cloud environment, powered by high performance computers. IBM called the initiative a “first-of-a-kind” cloud computing collaboration, with a long range potential of improving peoples’ lives.

“This collaboration with IBM provides our researchers, and those being trained to become tomorrow’s researchers and educators, access to critical high performance computing resources needed to process massive data sets and apply increasingly more sophisticated bioinformatics tools and technologies,” Gordon Springer, scientific director of the university’s bioinformatics consortium, said in a statement. “The availability of these resources will enable discoveries that will benefit mankind and the environment.”

In the first phase of the project, IBM will provide the University of Missouri (MU) with an IBM iDataPlex high performance computing system, along with related software. The system will integrate with the university’s existing computing infrastructure to speed the process of DNA sequencing and analysis of humans, plants and animals. The iDataPlex will also be used to collect and store massive amounts of data that result from that work.

In the second phase, MU and IBM will work together to create a prototype cloud environment, followed by a final phase in which the genomics cloud would become fully operational and be expanded to a regional domain.

IBM said the final cloud environment would allow sharing of bioinformatics resources among universities and institutions across a larger geographic area, which could potentially lead to a “Life Sciences Corridor” across Missouri and Kansas.

 

 

 

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