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High-Performance Computing and Big Data: a winning duo Bull and the National Center for Genome Analysis in Barcelona speed up gene sequencing

By equipping itself with a Bull supercomputer featuring 1,200 processing cores and 2,7 Petabytes of storage, the National Center for Genome Analysis (CNAG) in Barcelona will become a benchmark establishment for gene research in Europe.

Paris, June  25, 2014 -

Bull and the National Center for Genome Analysis in Barcelona - one of the leading gene research establishments in Europe - are set to speed up DNA sequencing using High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Big Data. The use of HPC will enable genomics to move forward at such a pace that will lead to personalized medicine: the challenge being to achieve better health and a better quality of life.

All the genetic material in an individual's genome is often compared to an encyclopedia, with chromosomes representing the different volumes and genes are the sentences within these volumes. So genome research manages massive amounts of data, which requires huge computer processing and storage capacity. The answer is biomedical supercomputing. By eliminating the bottlenecks that offer occur in data analysis and storing that data more efficiently, is it  possible to carry out sequencing on a mammoth scale.

The National Center for Genome Analysis in Barcelona manages large-scale DNA sequencing and analysis projects, to stay ahead in the European race in the highly strategic field of genomics. Its capacity of more than 800 sequencing Gbases/day - equivalent to sequencing eight full human genomes a day - makes it one of the most important centers in Europe.

"The challenge in genomics is such," commented Ivo G. Gut, Director of CNAG, "that it cannot be met with traditional computing. The solution is not to increase the number of sequencers. The key lies in the balance between sequencing and HPC. It is not only about increasing sequencing capacity by acquiring new hardware, but designing an appropriate computing infrastructure - from A to Z - with the help of a technology partner that has extensive experience in the field of genomics. It is also essential to choose a flexible infrastructure that can grow without limits, to keep pace with genome projects."

"The full implementation of genomics in public health systems involves resolving certain specific scientific and technological challenges: these latest are the ones that Bull is determined to meet using its supercomputing capabilities," said Natalia Jiménez, Senior Health and Life Sciences Adviser in Bull.

Currently, the center makes a significant contribution to three major international initiatives: the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC) and the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC).

About Bull, an Atos company


Bull is the trusted partner for enterprise data. The Group, which is firmly established in the Cloud and in Big Data, integrates and manages high-performance systems and end-to-end security solutions. Bull's offerings enable its customers to process all the data at their disposal, creating new types of demand. Bull converts data into value for organisations in a completely secure manner.

Bull currently employs around 9,200 people across more than 50 countries, with over 700 staff totally focused on R&D. In 2013, Bull recorded revenues of €1.3 billion.

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About Atos

Atos SE (Societas Europaea) is a leader in digital services with 2013 pro forma annual revenue of €10 billion and 86,000 employees in 66 countries. Serving a global client base, the Group provides Consulting & Systems Integration services, Managed Services & BPO, Cloud operations, Big Data & Security solutions, as well as transactional services through Worldline, the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry. With its deep technology expertise and industry knowledge, the Group works with clients across different business sectors: Defence, Health, Manufacturing, Media & Utilities, Public Sector, Retail, Telecommunications and Transportation.

Atos is focused on business technology that powers progress and helps organizations to create their firm of the future. The Group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and is listed on the Euronext Paris market. Atos operates under the brands Atos, Atos Consulting, Atos Worldgrid, Bull, Canopy, and Worldline.

For more information, visit: atos.net

Aurélie Negro
5 Bd Gallieni - 92445 Issy Les moulineaux Cedex - France
Phone: +33 1 58 04 05 02
E-mail: aurelie.negro@bull.net

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Aurélie Negro
+33 1 58 04 05 02