Australian petascale supercomputer Magnus helps fight whiteflies that ravage crops for 700 million people
17 Oct 2015 Pawsey - Gizmodo Australia features an article by Bryan Lufkin about how the Magnus supercomputer at the Pawsey centre is used to help fight whiteflies that ravage cassave crops. Laura Boykin, a computational biologist at the University of Western Australia, has made it her mission to neutralise that cassava-destroying threat, Lufkin writes. She and her colleagues used a supercomputer to generate a phylogenetic tree, or a kind of family tree, of the whitefly. It showed the team that there are actually a whopping 34 species of whitefly globally. Previously, scientists believed there was only one. Magnus, a petascale Cray XC40 supercomputer at Australias Pawsey Supercomputer Centre in Perth is crucial in the process. Magnus helps Boykin and her team figure out which whitefly species are similar, and what kind of flies live where.