Indiana U. zeros in on supercomputing for new genome analysis center

There's a new national hub to aid researchers trying to make sense of tsunamis of genomic data. With a new $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Indiana University is starting the National Center for Genome Analysis Support, according to a release.

Supercomputers factor prominently in plans for the new center. Part of the group's mission is to support NSF-funded genome researchers' needs for genome analysis software support and dataset storage. The university's Mason supercomputing system will provide some of the computing capacity needed for the center, which will also support genome analysis software operating on high-powered computers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas Austin as well as supercomputers at the University of California San Diego's San Diego Supercomputer Center, according to IU's release.

The center comes amid a bevy of efforts to use bioinformatics for enabling researchers to understand what the rising amounts of genome data mean about human health and other organisms. Given the vast amount of data from faster and cheaper DNA sequencing, the demand for computing capacity to support genome research and analysis has risen greatly in recent years.

"This center will give biologists the tools to analyze gene sequence data that they cannot now study using existing systems," William Barnett, director of Science Community Tools at IU, said in a statement. "We plan to enable innovative and potentially transformative research by providing tools and services that will accelerate important new scientific discoveries."

- here's the release