Wolfram Research on Tuesday released version 7 of Mathematica, bringing new techniques for image processing, building in the entire human genome, and improving the software's ability to run on multicore processors.
The software, not for the faint of heart at $2,495 for the standard version, began as a mathematical and statistical engine, but it's been sprawling across ever more fields where technical processing is required.
For example, with new image processing abilities, the software can convert patterns at a digital image into numeric data. A basic example would be counting spots and recording the position of each.
Some interesting data sets are now built into the software. One is the entire human genome, so researchers can, for example, find the chromosome location for a particular genetic sequence. Proteins also can be shown as 3D models. Another is global weather data stretching back decades, which the company thinks will be useful for economic and marketing research.
The software can automatically take advantage of multicore processors in some cases, but users can also explicitly direct the software to run multiple tasks in parallel on separate cores, too. Support for four cores is standard, but more can be used as well.
Check Wolfram's site for a longer list of new Mathematica 7 features.