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Extreme number crunching

Genome analysis requires massive computing support. Now, a specially constructed, fortress-like building houses computing resources just a quick walk across the street from The Genome Center. Designed to become the first LEED Gold-certified building on the School of Medicine campus, this utilitarian structure won a 2008 St. Louis Keystone Award for construction excellence. Inside, dozens of racks of computers with more than 2 petabytes (2,000,000 gigabytes) of disk storage run 24/7, processing data like that needed to decode the DNA of a single cancer patient (see feature, Dangerous Transformations). Computations that took seven years during the original Human Genome Project can now be completed in about seven days in the new facility, which offers ample capacity for future expansion.