Saw this via some Python-related tweets on Twitter - Google is working on a project to boost Python performance by upto 5 times. The project is called Unladen Swallow:
Google searches for holy grail of Python performance
Their plan is to do this using an LLVM-based JIT. Sounds very interesting. If it succeeds, Unladen Swallow could do for Python performance, what Hotspot and related innovations did for Java application performance - which is, make it greatly faster.
Vasudev Ram - Dancing Bison Enterprises