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Sun Lands UK Nanotech Deal

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW - News), the creator of the Solaris(TM) Operating System (OS), today announced that the newly opened London Centre of Nanotechnology (LCN - and the Bio-Nano Centre (BNC), funded by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) and London Development Agency (LDA), are using components of Sun Visualization System software to harness the world-class expertise of researchers across the physical, engineering and biomedical sciences, from University College London and Imperial College, to help meet the needs of society and industry. In essence, LCN and the BNC combine London's leading technology and medical research institutions.

Sun has delivered innovative 3D visualization hardware and software solutions as part of an overall 30 million pound investment in world class bio- and non-bio facilities and over 200 multi-disciplinary staff. The Sun Visualization System combines the best aspects of high performance 3D graphics technology with new ultra high-speed networking and system architectures. In practice, these systems are used to predictively model the precise manipulation and control of atoms and molecules, which is central to the science of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology can deliver a wide variety of benefits to society, ranging from the design of minute doses of breakthrough drugs, real-time clinical diagnostics to the exotic, such as self assembling bio-structures.

LCN's use of leading edge modelling and visualization technologies is enabling researchers from a wide array of scientific disciplines to work together on collaborative projects in a way that no traditional department or individual scientist could previously work. This combination of resources and skills positions the LCN as a serious participant on the global stage to tackle challenges in industries such as energy, healthcare and information technology.

Gabriel Aeppli, Director of the LCN said, "There are tremendous needs and opportunities for in silico biotechnology, especially as the costs of in vivo and even in vitro development of solutions for bio medicine are rapidly escalating. At the same time, data, design and security are even more important as the stakes for the biomedical industry rise to meet the challenges of nothing less than global personalized medicine. To take advantage of these rapidly crystallizing opportunities in the UCL and Imperial complex, Sun has collaborated with the DTI to co-develop with UCL and Imperial the systems and software to underpin what we see as the merger of the information and biosciences. The first steps have already been taken in the form of the delivery of a beta version of an advanced visualization system that has already changed our thinking about the 'plumbing' of osteoclasts - responsible for degrading bone in the human body."

"The cutting edge research that is taking place at the London Centre of Nanotechnology is helping to raise the profile of UK research on the international stage. Sun's involvement in facilitating collaboration between research institutions and industry demonstrates its commitment to delivering projects that allow educational institutions to undertake this ground-breaking research," said Neil Hadfield, Business Unit Manager for Education, Sun Microsystems UK.

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