The world's first personal supercomputer - a machine 250 times faster than the average PC – was unveiled yesterday. It will go on sale for more than £4,000, beyond the reach of most consumers but a tiny fraction of what computers with similar capabilities usually cost.
The Tesla supercomputers have such immense power they should be able to help doctors to process the results for brain and body scans much more quickly, allowing them to tell patients within hours instead of days whether they have a tumour.
Scientists believe that they could help to find cures for diseases such as cancer and malaria faster than traditional research, because they can run hundreds of thousands of simulations to create a shortlist of the drugs that are most likely to offer the potential for a cure.
David Kirk, chief scientist at NVIDIA, the American company that has designed the new technology, said: "Pretty much anything that you do on your PC that takes a lot of time can be accelerated with this."