Press Archive

SDSC Project Receives Editor's Choice Distinction in Science Magazine

Published 03/09/2005

La Jolla, Calif. - San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) researcher Philip Bourne, along with Russ Doolittle, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Song Yang, a graduate student at UCSD, have been recognized by the editors of Science magazine. The team's work in the field of evolution was featured in the "Editor's Choice" section of the January 21, 2005 issue of Science magazine.

The team's work showed that, for the first time, protein structure can be used to reconstruct an approximation to the tree of life that rivals the tree developed over 300 years using paleontology, zoology, botany, and more recently, protein sequence and whole genome analysis.

Highlights from the story, which was originally published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, include:

"The application of technologies that allow the collection of large amounts of data (genomic and proteomic expression and structure) has generated a demand for methods that can be used to interrogate and systematize these data sets - hence large-scale biology has marched arm in arm with sophisticated (and sometimes bordering on abstruse) computational analysis. In a refreshing departure from this complexity, Yang have used a simple nearest-neighbor kind of approach to overlay a catalog of 174 sequenced genomes with the three-dimensional structures of 1294 protein fold superfamilies."

The full story can be accessed at:

About SDSC
In 2005, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) celebrates two decades of enabling international science and engineering discoveries through advances in computational science and high performance computing. Continuing this legacy into the era of cyberinfrastructure, SDSC is a strategic resource to science, industry, and academia, offering leadership in data management, grid computing, bioinformatics, geoinformatics, high-performance computing, and other science and engineering disciplines. SDSC is an organized research unit of the University of California, San Diego with a staff of more than 400 scientists, software developers and support personnel, primarily funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). For more information, see

Media contacts:

Greg Lund,
San Diego Supercomputer Center,

Ashley Wood,
San Diego Supercomputer Center,