University of São Paulo Accelerates Drug Research with SGI® Altix® XE
Extreme Computing Capabilities of HPC Cluster Enable Molecular Simulation to Develop Antiviral Drugs for Virus
FREMONT, Calif. — October 4, 2010 — SGI (NASDAQ: SGI), a trusted leader in technical computing, today announced that the University of São Paulo, the largest university in Latin America, has selected SGI® Altix® XE 1300 cluster as its primary high performance computing (HPC) system to enable molecular simulations research for antiviral drugs to fight dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever.
The Molecular Simulation Group, part of the University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, is working to identify unknown structures of key proteins of dengue through the use of HPC equipment, particularly SGI Altix XE 1300. These key proteins are paramount to the evolution of infection and reproduction of the virus. The group's critical molecular simulations research is for the discovery and production of antiviral drugs to control both spread of the virus and development of other types of dengue.
"Molecular simulation is a highly demanding and effective new weapon for fighting dengue fever, and breakthrough HPC equipment such as SGI Altix XE 1300 is imperative for powering our antiviral drug research that will save lives," said Professor Léo Degrève with the Molecular Simulation Group at the University of São Paulo. "We are so excited to have the computing power of this cluster at our fingertips to help us unlock the molecular structural behaviors of the dengue virus E protein to fight this disease."
The SGI Altix XE 1300 cluster offers an Intel® Xeon® 5650 processor architecture and NVIDIA Tesla C2050 GPUs. The cluster features 216 cores and 447 GB of memory for a technical computing solution that provides the University of São Paulo with superior performance and reliability to conduct its molecular simulation applications.
"We are proud that our powerful technical computing solutions are working towards life-saving endeavors, such as the University of São Paulo's research into dengue fever antiviral drugs," said George Skaff, chief marketing officer at SGI. "We are confident that Altix XE 1300 will help them accelerate discovery to protect the world's population from one of the deadliest diseases."
Dengue is a prevalent reemerging infectious disease transmitted by a vector such as mosquito. It is endemic to over 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. Roughly 2.5 billion people, or two-fifths of the world's population, are at risk; the World Health Organization estimates there are up to 50 million dengue infections a year globally.¹
"Intel is proud to work with SGI to provide the researchers at the University of São Paulo with an HPC system powered by Intel® Xeon® 5650 processors to further our mutual commitment to enable the world's most advanced research institutions," said Rajeeb Hazra, general manager of High Performance Computing at Intel. "This molecular simulation research has the potential to positively affect millions, if not billions, of lives."
Schwartz Communications, Inc.
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¹ World Health Organization, Fact Sheet N°117 (March 2009), "Dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever." Retrieved September 29, 2010, from the WHO website: ‹ http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs117/en/index.html›