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CHPC - Research Computing Support for the University

In addition to deploying and operating high performance computational resources and providing advanced user support and training, CHPC serves as an expert team to broadly support the increasingly diverse research computing needs on campus. These needs include support for big data, big data movement, data analytics, security, virtual machines, Windows science application servers, protected environments for data mining and analysis of protected health information, and advanced networking. Visit our Getting Started page for more information.

Pigeons

Uncovering the secrets of Darwin’s pigeons

Centuries of selective breeding have generated a tremendous diversity among the 300+ breeds of domestic rock pigeon (Columba livia), an organism that Charles Darwin proposed as an exemplary model for evolution under selection. This variation gives us the opportunity to better understand the process of vertebrate development, and to investigate how those processes evolve over time. Until recently, however, the specific molecular mechanisms responsible for phenotypic differences among pigeon breeds were a complete mystery.

To identify genetic changes responsible for novel traits among pigeon breeds, researchers from the Shapiro lab at the University of Utah Department of Biology utilized resources at CHPC to identify genetic differences in the genomes of over 100 diverse pigeons, which were then compared to pinpoint which genetic differences are most-closely associated with specific traits.  These analyses require high performance computing to processes terabytes of genomic data.  Without the large scale computing resources available at CHPC, identifying genetic differences among pigeons would take years, rather than days. Through these studies, surprising links between genes responsible for trait evolution in pigeons and genes responsible for genetic disorders in humans have been found. These results help researchers better understand mechanisms of evolution on a level that Charles Darwin could only have imagined.

 

 

System Status

last update: 09/20/17 5:13 am
General Nodes
system procs % util.
ember 936/984 95.12%
kingspeak 880/880 100%
lonepeak 812/1028 78.99%
Restricted Nodes
system procs % util.
ash 7448/7448 100%
apexarch Status Unavailable
ember 1316/1316 100%
kingspeak 5372/7080 75.88%
lonepeak 20/400 5%

Cluster Utilization

Last Updated: 9/19/17