By Rainier Allan Ronda, Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – A supercomputer donated by IBM last year for research and development of local scientists has been activated by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Science Secretary Mario Montejo said the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer was made operational yesterday for the opening of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Core Facility for Bioinformatics (CFB) at UP Diliman, Quezon City.

(L-R) DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo performing a “Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST)” run which marks the official launch of the PGC’s Core Facility for Bioinformatics (CFB), joining him are DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Amelia P. Guevara, PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Ma. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, IBM Philippines Executive Dr. Delfin Jay Sabido, PGC Executive Director Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla, and CFB Director Dr. Arturo O. Lluisma.

Montejo said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration and Project Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) for weather forecasting and multi-year climate change modeling research would also use the supercomputer.

It was delivered to the country last November and installed at the National Computer Center at the University of the Philippines. Field-testing was started last January, the DOST said.

With the CFB opening, PGC executive director Carmencita David-Padilla said local scientists could now efficiently analyze and manage data from next generation sequencing research.

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