IBM Corp. will be spending $100 million on exploratory research to build a new supercomputer, "Blue Gene," which is 500 times more powerful than the "world's fastest computers today," according to the company. Blue Gene's power will initially be used to model the folding of human proteins. It will be capable of more than one quadrillion operations per second (one petaflop), making Blue Gene 1,000 times more powerful than the deep blue machine that beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, and about 2 million times more powerful than today's top desktop PCs. Learning more about how proteins fold is expected to give medical researchers better understanding of diseases, as well as potential cures, the company says. This is exactly what IBM Research does best -- continuously placing big, aggressive bets on technologies that change the future of computing," says Paul M. Horn, senior vice president of IBM Research.