PH genome center unveils facility powered by IBM supercomputer

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IBM Philippines and DOST officials announce the launch of the Blue Gene at a forum in UP Diliman on Monday, April 14. Photo credit: Owen Cammayo IBM Philippines and DOST officials announce the launch of the Blue Gene at a forum in UP Diliman on Monday, April 14. Photo credit: Owen Cammayo[/caption] At the heart of the facility is an IBM supercomputer dubbed ?Blue Gene,? which the US-based tech giant provided to the Philippine government. The bioinformatics unit complements the next generation sequencing services being offered by the center?s DNA Sequencing Core Facility (DSCF). It offers high-performance computing resources, hardware and software, needed to analyze, manage/curate, and archive massive amount of data derived from next-generation sequencing. Apart from data storage and analytics, researchers working with genomics-based technologies may also avail of the CFB?s custom-made/client-focused services such as provision of software, specialized databases or technical support for varied bioinformatics analyses, and also the use and access to high-performance computing resources. ?The Core Facility for Bioinformatics, a part of the research project ?capability building in R&D genomics? is now open to local researchers through the grant from the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD),? said Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla, executive director of the PGC. In 2012, IBM teamed up with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to establish the first Philippine Systems and Technology R&D Lab. As part of the initiative, the DOST also received an IBM Blue Gene/P super computer for use in research and development projects aligned with the national agenda, which includes improving weather forecasts, disaster management, precision agriculture, and health. Although primarily seen as a catalyst in the advancement of bioinformatics and computational genomics research in the country, the CFB is also designed to contribute in addressing the lack of local experts in bioinformatics/computational biology. Eventually, it will offer educational workshops, trainings, and seminars to fill in the talent gap in genomics and biotechnology in the Philippines, the center said. Researchers in the academe, government and private institutions who recognize the value of genomics-based applications in health and medicine, agriculture, biodiversity and forensics may also collaborate with the center, it added. The PGC, based at the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB) Building inside the National Science Complex, in University of the Philippines Diliman, combines basic and applied research for the development of health diagnostics, therapeutics, DNA forensics and preventive products, and improved crop, aquaculture and animal varieties. ]]>

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