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Stimulus Funds Bring Supercomputer to Pittsburgh Area

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Markus Dittrich

Markus Dittrich of the National Resource for Biomedical Supercomputing stands in front of a rendition of a photo receptor protein. The biomedical scientist will help oversee Anton's operation at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

Credit: Bill Wade / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

D.E. Shaw Research will house its new Anton supercomputer at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center beginning next fall. Anton is a massively parallel, 512-node supercomputer that reportedly offers ground-breaking performance capabilities. "This computer does work that really wasn't even possible until now," says Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center biomedical scientist Markus Dittrich.

Anton features a series of algorithms that can project how all the thousands of parts of a protein interact. "This computer has the potential to be a great accelerator in the development of drugs, how drugs work, and how systems work," says Jeremy Berg, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which provided a $2.7 million grant to pay for Anton's use at the supercomputing center.

Anton took more than 10 years to create at D.E. Shaw Research, a private laboratory founded by David E. Shaw. "It's a pretty amazing machine [and] now people would like to get their hands on a machine to see if it can do what he says," says University of Utah professor Thomas Cheatham.

From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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