Apple has published articles that look at the powerful impact of its high-end Xserve technologies in scientific research.

The pages talk about the five winners of the company's Apple Bioinformatics Awards. These scientists won Apple Workgroup Clusters, consisting of four dual-processor Xserve G5s with 2GB RAM, service, support and over 200 vital applications.

Apple says: "Meet five people whose breakthroughs make the progress of science real...they are shaping our health and our world through their research." It then speaks a little about what each winning boffin is doing.

Technology to transform lives

Dr. Deborah Dean, for example, is searching to find a vaccine for the bacteria in Chlamydia, which is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness and sexually-transmitted disease.

Dr. Edward DeLong is using Mac technologies to garner an understanding of how the microbes in the ocean balance its chemical and biological cycle.

Dr. Christopher Lee is researching the human genome; while Dr. Simon Lin is attempting to take genome information and use it in early cancer detection and treatment. Dr. Micheal Newton is also looking at how to understand the human genome.

Apple's offer to science

Macworld's news editor Jonny Evans spoke with Apple's director ofscience and technology markets, Liz Kerr, on the company's offering for the sci-tech community last month. The full interview is available in Macworld's October edition, available at news stands now.

A scientist herself, she discussed what scientists need from technology: "First, they need results fast. I mean, science is inherently very competitive, so the ability to get results and make the next decision, whether to continue an experiment or move to another, that matters. Decisions like these are made daily, especially on the commercial side."
Second - "Scientists need to be able to be creative. We think of science as a creative profession, not so different from DTP or video, as scientists have to be creative in how they approach their problems. To me it's all very creative and the Mac platform does that."

Finally, scientists need to find solutions that make financial sense, she said.

Apple's serious scifi business plan

Apple is gathering interest in the sci-tech markets, she said, supplanting some companies traditionally well-placed within it: "I have spoken with a number of people who have replaced their Silicon Graphics machines with Power Macs," she said.

"What I'm learning is that people who buy SGI workstations don't use all that functionality, apparently, because they are able to replace them with Power Macs".

Kerr's optimistic that Apple's offering what the market needs, she continued: "Yes, these aren't new SGI machines, they are perhaps two or three years old, and they are finding that for ten per cent of the cost they can get a Power Mac that does everything they need and performs better than their SGI. I think that's an interesting trend."