Given its expeditionary namesake, it's only appropriate that Beagle -- the University of Chicago's supercomputer for biomedical research -- works with data from all around the world. But a recent project may qualify as the farthest-traveling data yet, as the HPC resource was used in a new genomic study of populations living in the Himalayan mountain range.
For three years, the Beagle supercomputer has driven University of Chicago biology and medical research into new computational territories, fueling groundbreaking research in genomics, drug design, and personalized medicine. Now, with a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, UChicago’s high-performance computing resource for biomedical research is ready for an upgrade that will enable the next wave of pioneering discoveries.
The completion of the Human Genome Project in 2000 was heralded by its leaders as a landmark event not just for biology, but for the practice of medicine as well. But 14 years later, few applications of genomics have made their way from the laboratory to the clinic. In a story for Reuters, reporter Julie Steenhuysen takes a look at some early signs that the promise of genomic medicine may finally be realized -- for a few diseases, at least.
Although the time and cost of sequencing an entire human genome has plummeted, analyzing the resulting three billion base pairs of genetic information from a single genome can take many months. In the journal Bioinformatics, however, a University of Chicago-based team—working with Beagle, one of the world’s fastest supercomputers devoted to life sciences—reports that genome analysis can be radically accelerated. This computer, based at Argonne National Laboratory, is able to analyze 240 full genomes in about two days.