LONDON Craig Venter, the CEO of Celera Genomics — which is on the verge of publishing the sequence of the human genome — has signed an agreement with Sandia National Laboratory in the US to develop the most powerful computer in the world within four years — and it'll be used for biology.

At the same time, Sandia will be working on a similar machine to simulate the full three-dimensional impact of a nuclear weapons explosion, due for delivery to the US government by 2004. Sandia National Laboratory is a US Department of Energy laboratory, owned by the DoE but operated by the Sandia corporation. It is one of the three US weapons laboratories using supercomputers for the government's 'stockpile stewardship programme', which ensures the safety and reliability of the US nuclear stockpile in the absence of nuclear testing.

"The assembly of the human genome last June took 20,000 hours...

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