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Thursday, November 19, 2009

IBM Unveils a New Brain Simulator

IEEE Spectrum: IBM Unveils a New Brain Simulator:

"A big step forward in a project that aims for thinking chips


18 November 2009—Scientists and engineers at IBM’s Almaden Research Center, in San Jose, Calif., announced today at the Supercomputing Conference (SC09) in Portland, Ore., that they have created the largest brain simulation to date on a supercomputer. The number of neurons and synapses in the simulation exceed those in a cat’s brain; previous simulations have reached only the level of mouse and rat brains. Experts predict that the simulation will have profound effects in two arenas: It will lead to a better understanding of how the brain’s architecture leads to cognition, and it should inspire the design of electronics that mimic the brain’s as-yet-unmatched ability to do complex computation and learn using a small volume of hardware that consumes little power......"

(Via http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/ibm-unveils-a-new-brain-simulator.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Petascale Computing Tools Could Provide Deeper Insight into Genomic Evolution

Scicasts™: Petascale Computing Tools Could Provide Deeper Insight into Genomic Evolution

"Technological advances in high-throughput DNA sequencing have opened up the possibility of determining how living things are related by analyzing the ways in which their genes have been rearranged on chromosomes. However, inferring such evolutionary relationships from rearrangement events is computationally intensive on even the most advanced computing systems available today....."

Nature Article: Predicting new molecular targets for known drugs

see the News and Views from A.L. Hopkins:

Drug discovery: Predicting promiscuity

"Computational methods that reliably predict the biological activities of compounds have long been sought. The validation of one such method suggests that in silico predictions for drug discovery have come of age....."

and the full article by Michael J. Keiser et.al.: Predicting new molecular targets for known drugs

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

(re)Funding Databases II

There is an interesting update on the discussion about funding/re-funding of databases on The OpenHelix Blog

(re)Funding Databases II | The OpenHelix Blog: ""

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Education and Employment of Biological and Medical Scientists: Data from National Surveys

FASEB published a slideshow presenting data on the education and employment of biologists and medical scientists.

Details can be found here

Friday, November 6, 2009

Do you know that Nature is 140 years old?

Nature's birthday offers an occasion to reflect on the past and look to the future.