News of the WeekComputer Science

Big Blue Aims to Crack Protein Riddle

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Science  17 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5448, pp. 2250
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5448.2250

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IBM last week announced a $100 million research initiative to build a supercomputer 500 times more powerful than the current record holder. Dubbed "Blue Gene," the technology test-bed's initial goal will be to model how proteins fold into the three-dimensional shapes that allow them to orchestrate life within the cell. If successful, the 5-year effort could allow drug researchers to go right from the sequence of a disease-related gene to the predicted structure of its protein, in order to identify targets for therapeutic drugs.