IBM Corp.’s life sciences division has signed an agreement with Toronto’s MDS Inc. to apply its supercomputing expertise to the task of decrypting the protein puzzle unmasked by the human genome project. At stake are medications that could prevent or cure diseases and significantly lengthen human lifespans. As computational power is the missing link in much of this developing research, IBM has decided to leverage its existing expertise to gain entry into the potentially lucrative field of new drug development.
The project’s supercomputer will use a Linux cluster under control of a Unix server. The cluster will use 300 IBM Linux-based xSeries 330 servers assembled in three 100-unit nodes. Each server will contain dual 1-GhZ Pentium III processors and 2.2GB of memory.