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FOX CHASE CANCER CENTER INSTALLS ALPHA AXP WORKSTATIONS TO SUPPORT GENETIC MAPPING PROJECT

 MAYNARD, Mass., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital Equipment Corporation (NYSE: DEC) today announced that Philadelphia-based Fox Chase Cancer Center has chosen Alpha AXP workstations as the database management and application development platform for a four-year, NIH- funded human genome research project. Scientists from Fox Chase and three other leading research organizations will use the systems to create a high-resolution, easy-to-use genetic linkage map of the entire human genome -- the human body's genetic makeup -- to help locate disease-causing genes.
 The project, directed by the University of Iowa (UI) Department of Pediatrics genome center, involves research teams from Fox Chase; the Marshfield Medical Research Foundation, Marshfield, Wis.; the University of Iowa, Iowa City; and Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. UI is the ninth genome center to be funded by the NIH National Center for Human Genome Research, the largest biological research effort ever undertaken. The NIH's goal is to create a genetic blueprint of the human body that will enable scientists to find damaged genes and restore or replace them.
 The Fox Chase team is implementing the Alpha AXP workstations as servers in an Internet-linked scenario using the OSF DCE (Distributed Computing Environment) product. The systems will support various Sybase OSF/1 databases Fox Chase is developing as centralized repositories for data generated by geographically distributed research teams.
 Researchers at the remote sites will use Digital workstations for database access and as collection andtransfer points for research data. PCs and Apple Macintosh systems will transfer data directly from several lab instruments to the Digital workstations.
 The Fox Chase team will also utilize the Alpha AXP systems to analyze data collected from the other groups and construct the genetic linkage maps via distributed genetic linkage analysis software it is developing. Ultimately, the linkage maps and the databases will be available to genetic researchers around the world, who will be able to translocate parcels of the maps for further research and enhancement.
 "The genetic linkage mapping problem we're trying to solve in this particular project is a very compute-intensive process involving massive amounts of data and requiring consistent high performance," said Robert Stodola, Manager of Research Computing Services at Fox Chase. "We chose the Alpha AXP systems because they are part of a line of processors that are among the fastest on the market and which promise to meet our performance requirements for years to come."
 Fox Chase is using the CRI-MAP public domain software, developed at the Washington University Genetics Department in St. Louis, to construct the genetic linkage maps.
 The system is widely used by laboratories working in conjunction with the Human Genome Project to build genetic maps that can be used to locate the genes linked to genetic diseases. It provides high-speed algorithms for calculation and maximization of linkage likelihoods; programs for automatic, multiple-method map assembly; programs for final map checking; and an error-detection program.
 According to Professor Philip Green of the Washington University Genetics Department, running the CRI Map application on the DEC 3000 Alpha AXP platform has made a significant difference in the types of analyses genetics researchers are able to perform. "Linkage analysis calculations are time consuming and the Alpha AXP workstation shortens the process by a large factor," he said. "We are also seeing higher performance and faster response times on other types of genome analyses as well, and are now starting to run large scale simulations that would have been impractical on a less powerful machine."
 CRI Map was ported to the DEC OSF/1 for Alpha AXP operating environment via the public domain porting program of Digital's Independent Software Vendors Group. To date, more than 500 of the nearly 1,000 applications in the public domain database have been ported to the Alpha AXP portfolio.
 Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of 28 institutions in the nation designated as comprehensive cancer centers by the National Cancer Institute. Fox Chase's activities include basic and clinical research; prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach programs.
 Digital Equipment Corporation, headquartered in Maynard, Mass., is the leading worldwide supplier of networked computer systems, software and services. Digital pioneered and leads the industry in interactive, distributed and multivendor computing. Digital and its business partners deliver the power to use the best integrated solutions -- from desktop to data center -- in open information environments.
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 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Alpha AXP, AXP, Digital, the Digital logo, DEC 3000 and DEC OSF/1 are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation. OSF/1 and DCE are registered trademark of the Open Software Foundation./
 -0- 4/26/93
 /CONTACT: Glen Zimmerman, 508-493-9857; David J. Bouffard, 415-617-3500, both of Alpha Personal Systems; Eric Rosenthal, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 215-728-2700/
 (DEC)


CO: Digital Equipment Corporation; Fox Chase Cancer Center ST: Massachusetts, Pennsylvania IN: CPR, MTC SU:

DJ -- NE005 -- 0523 04/26/93 10:00 EDT
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Date:Apr 26, 1993
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