Apple Sees Increased Usage In The Field Of Genetics

A couple of years ago, we heard of an Australian geneticist using his iPod to carry around the entire human genome. According to an article at Forbes, Appleis presence in the realm of genetic research is by no means limited to genetic information being carted around on MP3 players. For example, Princetonis Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics is head-to-toe Apple. The Instituteis head, David Botstein, chose Apple workstations and servers because of lower initial cost and lower cost of maintenance compared to the the expensive workstations normally used by biologists. From Forbes:

Botsteinis not alone. Apple Computer and its Macintosh, which has long sat on the desktops of many molecular biologists, are now seeing wider use in genomics, the study of how many genes work together within organisms. High-speed, stackable servers from Apple are even being clustered together into supercomputers. The third-fastest supercomputing cluster in the world, based at Virginia Tech, is composed of the first 1,100 PowerMac G5s to roll off of the assembly line. Says Michael Swenson, an analyst who covers life sciences computing for IDC: "Appleis starting to make some waves."

Analysts warn that biology and supercomputing wonit be a big revenue driver for Apple. "I donit see it putting many pennies on the bottom line," says Peter Kastner, an analyst at the Aberdeen Group in Boston. And Apple says that high-performance clusters will never be its focus. "I donit believe anyone in the next year is going to say, iApple, the supercomputer companyi," says Alex Grossman, Appleis director, product management, server hardware.

According to Hassan Aref, dean of engineering at Virginia Tech, Apple was initially reluctant to participate in building the universityis supercomputer. "It wasnit why they made the G5," Aref says. But Apple did eventually come around.

You can read the full article at Forbesi Web site.