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The step toward personalized medicine– the IBM’s supercomputer, Blue Gene/Q chosen to suppo

The step toward personalized medicine– the IBM’s supercomputer, Blue Gene/Q chosen to support Polish biomedical centre

Publish date: 2013-04-09

At the beginning of April, a supercomputer, IBM Blue Gene/Q called Nostromo, was decided to be harnessed by the biggest Polish biomedical and biotechnological research initiative, namely Centre for Pre-Clinical Research and Technology. The main duty of the computer is to help scientists to investigate chronic diseases, which constitute a widespread problem for aging population.

Tags: poland , medicine , researches

Thanks to the application of the supercomputer able to analyse data gained from a great number of patients, faster diagnosis as well as development of innovative drugs against chronic diseases, as cancer, heart diseases, stroke or diabetes will be facilitated. The combination of impressing speed of operation of up to 209.7 trillion operations per second with special algorithms will enable recognition of so-called rare variants in human genome responsible for development of illnesses, like e.g. Alzheimer’s disease or Down syndrome. The new system will also help to perform big scale simulations in biomolecular modeling and neurobiology.


Professor Marek Niezgodka , the director of ICM said in a statement: "The process of developing and generating a new drug or treatment normally takes up to three years, and costs have nearly quadrupled in the past 15 years. With Nostromo, we expect to increase the simulation speed which will bring us much closer to the era of "personalized medicine," when preventative approaches can be tailored to a specific condition."


With Blue Gene supercomputer it will become possible to store and analyze so called Big Data from millions of people. In order to harness them in a most efficient way and to withdraw conclusions concerning genetic predispositions for diseases, this vast amount of medical data has to be analyzed together. Then, when a genome of a single patient has been sequenced and genetic factors for an illness detected, the application of appropriate, efficient treatment will be available. In conclusion, the new supercomputer will bring new possibilities for the Polish healthcare, making medicine more personalized and providing treatment tailored to a specific case.




by Jakub Chrustowicz




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