IBM Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer Helps Medical Researchers Fight the Common Cold

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-07-17
 
 
 

Blue Gene/Q

This machine, Victoria Life Sciences Computation Initiative's IBM Blue Gene/Q at the University of Melbourne, is helping researchers search for a cure for the common cold.

Blue Gene/Q

Scale

The profile of the IBM Blue Gene/Q system and the University of Melbourne illustrates a formidable machine, one of the most powerful in the world.

Scale

The Common Cold

A view of a surface rendering of the common cold virus.

The Common Cold

Drug Testing

An image of the rhinovirus viral capsid, or outer shell, with the drug binding site in yellow.

Drug Testing

Cold RNA

A cutaway view of the common cold virus shows the RNA interior.

Cold RNA

Area's Most Powerful

In production since July 1, 2012, the IBM Blue Gene/Q is the most powerful supercomputer dedicated to life sciences research in the Southern Hemisphere and currently ranked the fastest in Australia.

Area's Most Powerful

#31

The "Avoca" IBM Blue Gene/Q system at the University of Melbourne ranks 31st on the Top500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers.

#31

Super 3D

The IBM Blue Gene/Q at the University of Melbourne enables advanced 3D computer simulations of what is happening at the molecular level to speed up the development of improved treatments for human rhinovirus.

Super 3D

500 Million Hours

About 500 million computing core hours will be available to researchers on the Avoca every year, with 838 teraflops of performance.

500 Million Hours

Potential Cost Savings

Finding a cure for the common cold would save money. In Australia alone, more than $250 million worth of cold, cough and flu remedies are sold every year, as there are about 45 million occurrences of the common cold yearly. Also in Australia, the common cold will typically cause workers to miss about 1.5 million workdays costing their employers an estimated $600 million in lost productivity.

Potential Cost Savings

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