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Universite de Montreal Researchers Simulate World's Largest Heart Model Using SGI Technology
Date:1/15/2008

ust be modeled with enormous detail. Once disease mechanisms are fully understood, scientists will be able to devise the best drug or the best cure -- surgical or other remedies -- and doctors will be able to diagnose much more precisely.

Without the use of computer models it can be hard to track the effects of a heart disease on the ECG. For instance, many patients with Brugada syndrome have an inheritable disorder on the level of ion channels -- large molecules in the cell membrane that help activate the heart in order to make it beat. It is tempting to believe that these ion-channel disorders cause the typical ECG and the risk of sudden cardiac death that are linked with Brugada syndrome. However, computer simulations have shown that this is not the case. Additional factors are needed. Such a discovery, which disproves a proposed explanation, could only be made with a detailed computer model of the heart, not by observation alone. Moreover, the level of detail required for this application demands such large computational resources that it could be achieved only very recently.

"For 25 years SGI has fueled biomedical innovations, accelerating scientific research by reducing time to insight in projects as varied as the mechanics of HIV protease, genomic correlation for cancer research, and 3D simulations of surgeries," said Michael Brown, Director of Sciences Markets, SGI. "The SGI Altix system now bolsters the future of heart disease research by proving that expanded calculations of 2 billion elements are not only possible, but will become the norm."

SGI -- Innovation for Results(TM)

SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a complete range of high-performance server, visualization
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