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Linux Cluster Supercomputer Performs Surgery on Dog

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the hasn't-quite-mastered-fetch-though dept.

Supercomputing 68

An anonymous reader writes "In April, the Lonestar supercomputer, a Dell Linux Cluster with 5,840 processors at the Texas Advanced Computing Center in Austin, performed laser surgery on a dog in Houston without the intervention of a surgeon. The article describes the process: 'The treatment itself is broken into four stages: 1) Lonestar instructs the laser to heat the domain with a non-damaging calibration pulse; 2) the thermal MRI acquires baseline images of the heating and cooling of the patient's tissue for model calibration; 3) Lonestar inputs this patient-specific information and recomputes the optimal power profile for the rest of the treatments; and 4) surgery begins, with remote visualizations and evolving predictions continuing throughout the procedure.'"

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Should have read... (-1, Troll)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694117)

Linux Cluster cures cancer.

That would have been a much more provocative headline. And more in keeping with standard Slashdot editorial standards.

Re:Should have read... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694167)

Christ, I love Greek! Women just don't seem to understand that a man can find just as much pleasure in the warm confines of a well- muscled ass as they can in the satin embrace of a well-wetted cunt. Maybe we men have conditioned them too well to ignoring one hole for the other: nonetheless, every man I've talked to about it loves Greek and every woman who I've talked to about it has been less than enthusiastic. So imagine my surprise last weekend when Kathleen treated me to the joys of anal sex in what must be the first time in five or six years.

The night started our strangely. Kathleen had just finished re- arranging her large library and was exhausted. As suits my biological clock, I was just coming awake at 10 PM when she was turning in. She invited me to bed and I politely declined: I was horny as usual and told her I'd keep her awake. After a couple of more requests from her, I stripped and crawled in beside her. Kathleen loves to snuggle and wasted no time in curling her small body up next to mine. I turned and kissed her. She was oddly responsive for her tired state, and teased me with a hint of tongue in her kisses. I reached down to feel her muff and found it just beginning to rev as her right hand slipped down her belly to her clit.

I took up what has become my customary position between her legs - kneeling and using my cock as a sex toy to tickle her lower labia and the entrance to her cunt. But this time I let my aim wander lower to the wonderful curve where ass, crotch, and leg meet. I rubbed my cock against this soft crescent and expanded the stroke to brush against the entrance to her ass. I noticed that every time that my prick touched her rosebud, her strokes on her clit quickened. It wasn't long before I was pressing the tip of my cock against her asshole.

Surprise! My cock slipped easily into her ass until the entire head was buried inside, and just as I was about to pull out and apoligize, she handed me a bottle of sex lubricant and said "What the fuck? Why not?". I pulled back and poured the lubricant on my hard cock and noticed her pussy was swollen and very wet. I worked my cock back into its previous nest. It was so easy. I could feel her ass muscles relaxing and opening for me. I eased ever so slowly deeper. Such heaven! Like a warm, wet hand gripping all around my prick - so much tighter than pussy, and delightful in an entirely different way. I could feel her hips grind against me as I worked the last of my seven-plus inches into her back door. Realizing where I was and how long it had been since I'd known this pleasure, I had to fight to pull the reigns in on my orgasm.

It seemed like forever - my slow rocking pulling my cock almost full-length out of her ass before easing it back in until my balls rested against her firm buns. Her right hand furiously massaged her clit and her left hand played at the entrance of her cunt, pressing on the full length of her labia. And all the while my cock was enveloped in a firm net of gripping muscles that wrestled to bring the cum from me. "It's so weird," she said as she searched for the grip on her own orgasm. Suddenly, it was upon her. I felt her ass open up like a mouth that was just to blow up a ballon. "Are you close?" she hissed. "No," I grunted. She was close, tho'. Too close to stop. I felt her stiffen and lurch under me. "Uuhhhh! Come on you bastard! Fill my ass!" she yelled as she dug her nails into my back. Amazing what a little dirty talk will do - from that special nowhere where good men hide their orgasms until their lovers are ready, my load bolted from my crotch to my brain and back to my flushed balls. I gripped the pillow with my teeth and jerked my neck back and forth and tried not to deafen Kathleen when my cum blasted out of my cock like water from a firehose. The rush of jism racing up my tube seemed to last for stroke after stroke until sweaty Kathleen gasped, grunted, and pushed me from on top of her. Since I have a little anal experience myself, I knew the sudden discomfort of having something in your ass after you've orgasmed. I considerately slipped out of her despite not having finished my own orgasm to my complete satisfaction.

I kissed her and thanked her for her special gift, but she pushed me away. "Go wash off and fuck my pussy," she said " I feel like something's undone." So after a quick and thorough shower, I returned to the futon where her dripping, swollen twat waited for my not-quite-recovered cock.

And that's another story...

Re:Should have read... (2, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694509)

Please tag "linuxkillsdogs". The dog died. If this were a Microsoft product, the dog would have lived. You open source freaks are just evil.

Re:Should have read... (1)

thatotherguy007 (1021257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23704607)

Ah yes, blame the fact that they ran a program on an open source operating system. It looks to me like the software that ran the surgical operation wasn't open source at all. It seems it was all closed source software that was doing anything except running the computers. Although I am a bit lost; I don't seem to remember when Microsoft went into the medical field.

Re:Should have read... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23707303)

It was a joke. Really.

Free software is the right tool for the job. (2, Insightful)

westbake (1275576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694973)

Prostate cancer is the target of the research, so your comment is closer to reality than you might like.

In this case, free software was the right tool. HPC with GNU/Linux is both flexible and mature. MD Anderson and everyone has better ways to spend their money than on software licenses for 5,000+ computers required to do this kind of work. Every kind of task will go this way eventually and most are already there. Whenever you start a task, you should look to see if some free program does not already do what you want.

Re:Free software is the right tool for the job. (2, Insightful)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695429)

That does not mean it's the only tool for the job. FOSS is not perfect, just like commercial software isn't always the best solution. Like in most areas, the cost of software licenses is minuscule compared to salaries, facilities, materials, etc; software is a tool regardless of whether money is charged for it or not.

I'd rather have cancer cured than agendas furthered.

Re:Free software is the right tool for the job. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696735)

The sticker price is minuscule compared to salaries etc. but there are a lot of other costs to licensed software. Like having to keep track of license keys and certificates, having to deal with various license management dane bramage, having licensing prevent quickly getting a service back up quickly and efficiently, etc.

If you consider all the licensing problems and the extra hoops to be jumped through over the life of a server, the up-front cost of the license is really just the beginning.

The BIG advantage FOSS has is that no part of it is designed to "decide" if it should work or not. There's no need to spend time (money) to "convince" it that it's OK for it to do it's job. There's no incentive (or ability) to keep critical parts of it hidden away or deny useful debugging information out of fear that someone might get it to run for free.

There are many other reasons why Windows in particular costs more than it should in man hours, but that's another posting.

Re:Should have read... (1)

Mozk (844858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695321)

Should have read Yellow Dog [] operates on yellow dog [] .

O rly? (0, Troll)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694121)

I for one welcome our new shark-controlling surgical supercomputer overlords.

Re:O rly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23698465)


I, for one, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694123)

welcome our new robotic surgeon overlords.

Re:I, for one, (1)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694927)

I can imagine the dreams I'll have tonight:

"I exist to cut flesh...



New Robot Overlords (3, Funny)

backtick (2376) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694125)

Wow, how about bowing down before a cluster of those? Heheh. Mixing the memes, sorry...

F!rst Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694129)

And Real Soon Now, it will also steal your car, rape your sister and go for World Domination!

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694131)

Automated, computerized surgery, but "linux" is the important part.

Re:Wow. (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696251)

Actually, I believe they were just identifying the type of supercomputer that it was. There are a few types, one of which is to use linux to cluster a bunch of lesser computers until they're to the level of being a supercomputer. The only way that they could have put the same information into the statement while making "linux" less prominent would have been to use a more awkward phrasing, like making the statement passive (ie "surgery performed on dog by linux cluster supercomputer"). Initially, I would have agreed with your statement, but upon further reflection I believe the headline to be more than satisfactory.

The dog died. (5, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694135)

...and they bury that very far down in TFA. The question, of course, is whether that was the planned outcome; I'd like to see it answered a little more explicitly.

If it is the intended outcome... well, so be it. If not, OTOH, that makes me a little less likely to sign up to be an early human test subject. :)

Re:The dog died. (5, Interesting)

J'ai Friedpork (1293672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694209)

Second. I for one would like to know whether the dog died because of the treatment, in spite of it, or because they had to do an autopsy. Probably the latter, but the fact that they didn't specify it is a little worrying.

Re:The dog died. (5, Funny)

crackp1pe (1301669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694229)

Linux killed a dog? It must have been using ReiserFS, I hear it's a killer file system.

Bad analogy (2, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696749)

Jokes about killer file systems are like cars with missing passenger seats.

Re:The dog died. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694259)

Hint: there was no word "successfully" in the headline.

Re:The dog died. (1)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696187)

We can't all be as pessimistic as Anonymous Coward.

Re:The dog died. (1)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699325)

I'm not sure if you read further than the headline, but they do say it "went off without a hitch". It's all pretty vague, though.

Re:The dog died. (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694435)

They state that the dog gave it's life for the test. It does not state that the dog died as a result of the surgery.

A more likely interpretation is that the surgery was completed and that the dog was killed and dissected to determine if the surgery was a success. That is what normally happens during animal trials.

Re:The dog died. (2)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694847)

I doubt it was a volunteer.

Re:The dog died. (4, Funny)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697273)

It was in a EULA printed on the back of a doggy treat: 'By eating this buscuit, you agree to be bound and dissected by the terms of this agreement...'

Re:The dog died. (0, Troll)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695135)

Only because we, as a species, don't have the balls to subject ourselves to stupid experiments. We force other living creatures to do it for use.

Re:The dog died. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23695301)

Go on mate, be the first. No? Then sit down and have your nice, big, warm glass of the ol' shut the fuck up.

Re:The dog died. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697419)

Go on mate, be the first. No? Then sit down and have your nice, big, warm glass of the ol' shut the fuck up.

From one AC to another, how about my Doc Marten up your fucking ass... what'dya think about that, big boy?

The test subjects are called "human death row prisoners".

The dog died. But he is a hero. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694457)

"... the dog gave his life to the research, his sacrifice furthers science... "

Would you trust your surgery to a Dell computer?

Re:The dog died. But he is a hero. (2, Funny)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23699333)

The surgery was done with lasers, not exploding batteries.

Re:The dog died. (2, Funny)

Phyrexicaid (1176935) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694579)

And then they installed Linux on it.

Re:The dog died. (4, Funny)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694723)

Did they go for yellow dog or puppy?

Re:The dog died. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23695041)

Better than installing on a dead badger.

Re:The dog died. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694581)

The Lonestar may not be able to successfully perform surgery, but I hear it's pretty good at jamming Dark Helmet's radar.

Re:The dog died. (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695411)

Yeah, it doesn't count to do computer surgery if the thing dies anyways.

Re:The dog died. (2, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695517)

Look on the bright side: The cancer died too.

Re:The dog died. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697045)

No you worded that all wrong...

Look on the bright side: The dog no longer has to worry about the cancer.

Re:The dog died. (2, Informative)

SUB7IME (604466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695543)

In medical research using animals, the animal is traditionally sacrificed for the purpose of accessing the tissue, seeing the anatomy, and gaining a more complete understanding of what actually happened during the experiment.

Re:The dog died. (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696359)

Makes good sense. It wouldn't hurt for an article aimed at people who aren't domain experts to be somewhat more explicit, though.

Re:The dog died. (1)

SUB7IME (604466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698765)

Strong point, well taken.

Re:The dog died. (0, Troll)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697311)

1) Experiment on dogs
2) ...
3) ...
4) ...
5) ...
6) ...
7) ...
8) Experiment on people

I'm just wondering what those missing steps are, and how they'll be filled. Perhaps the Chinese can experiment on prisoners or something.

Re:The dog died. (1)

SUB7IME (604466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698781)

There really aren't that many steps in between. It's more like this:

1) Do the basic science
2) Ask your IRB for approval
3) Experiment on dogs
4) Ask your IRB for approval
5) Experiment on people
6) Use evidence to demonstrate that your procedure works
7) Procedure becomes mainstream

In case you were actually wondering, and not just making a roundabout point in opposition to animal research.

Dog? Big deal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694137)

Let me know when they do that on a penguin!

And they killed the dog.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694189)

"Although the dog gave his life to the research, his sacrifice furthers science by allowing researchers to assess the success of the treatment and plan improvements."

Maybe next time the researchers should try it...damn vivisectionists.

Awesome (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694235)

For the big dollars that surgeons pull down, they are after all performing mostly rote procedures for the most part. When you can replace a decade of training a person with a simple file copy to load software on to a robot, think of the savings that represents. Health care costs are a big drag on our standard of living in all other areas and it's only getting worse. Not to mention the millions who die around the world because they simply cannot afford the procedures. I'm by no means saying this technology is ready or that I'd be willing to go under the robo-knife at this point, but I'm sure glad they're working on it.

Re:Awesome (2, Interesting)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694515)

We could get the savings now, without machines, if we lowered the bar to doing certain doctor-only actions and stopped artificially limiting the amount of doctors in the market.

In some cases, they already are by allowing doctor's assistants and nurses' assistants the same powers. But I won't really consider it a success until I can go down the street and have eye surgery in Boris's basement, right next to where he makes the bootleg vodka.

Re:Awesome (4, Funny)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694627)

How very appropriate, to have your sight both destroyed and restored by the same man's products!

Re:Awesome (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698069)

In Soviet Russia, sight destroys your bootleg vodka.

Re:Awesome (4, Informative)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694545)

Of course replacing a surgeon with a reliable fully automated robot would be great.

However your description of surgery is not correct. Surgery is difficult, minutious and different for ever patient. Great surgeons must be able to plan ahead, direct a team and control all the details of a surgery procedure as it happens, as well as improvising with a cool head for hours on end if things go wrong.

It's the exact opposite of rote procedure. Especially now with recent advances in real-time non-invasive imaging and haptic instruments procedures change all the time.

Planning the surgery (2, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696521)

When you can replace a decade of training a person with a simple file copy to load software on to a robot, think of the savings that represents.
And who is going to plan the surgery ?
A doctor who has gone medical training is still required. The only thing is after a long intellectually preparation part (reflection, selecting the route, specifying the region, everything else that needs to be planned by someone with lots of experience), the doctor can give the instruction to the robot and move to the next case.

The price are going to go down. Not because you'll get rid of the doctors, but because the "planning" doctors we'll be able to handle more cases per day (and can all be grouped in specialised centres to handle the cases more efficiently)*, and then in the operating block, you'll only need to have one surgery team waiting in standby in case something goes wrong in one of the operations and needs to be finished by hand, as opposed to have one surgery team for every patient.

*: the same kind of speed up we currently have thanks to modern radiology technology and electronic archives : it pretty cool. You sit the whole day in front of a console and the exams are constantly coming in, get looked at, you quickly dictate a report and jump to the next exam, while the previous one is subsequently transmitted to a supervisor who'll double check the result. Or you read /. when there isn't as much work....

Re:Planning the surgery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23713239)

A lot of the cost of the procedure is in the recovery, Switching to something that requires a lot less recovery time will decrease complications and recovery time. These days its all about reducing the time the patient is in the hospital.

Its good and bad, bad because they cannot monitor the patient as well outside the hospital for complications, but good because they don't get as many in hospital infections (like MRSA).

Surgeons will always be needed, they're not the biggest expense. Some proceedures and tests can be quite a penny too.

Japan's health care system has MRI visits down to around $100.. ours? $3k easy.

Here the *-scopy procedure did it already. (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23718103)

I failed to take that into account. Maybe because I live in a country which has already done massive effort to reduce recovery time, thank to less invasive surgery (nothing fancy requiring robots. Just simply using *-scopy instead of *-tomy procedure whenever possible).

Thus, for me, the introduction of robots, both classical surgical and new autonomous one, doesn't translate into shorter hospitalisation times. The procedure that our new overlords are going to replace where already minimally invasive in the first place.

It's more about convenience for the surgeon :
- tentacle-like robots are able to follow organ movement
- remotely controllable bots allow to receive help from great specialists without needing to fly them at the destination first.
- programmable autonomous (like TFA's surgery both, or like the cancer-killing radiation-machine used for some time) allow very careful planning of complicated or delicate procedure and then being sure that the procedure will be carried exactly as planned (well - except for that scandal about the miscalibrated radiation-machine)

about MRI visits' cost : they also depend on the financing plan adopted by the institute.
I've heard that some constructors subsidize the cost of the machine but in exchange require a "tax" on all performed exams.

The Dog Died...When? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23694825)

Wait...I don't get it. Did the dog die before or after the surgery? Was it already dead ahead of time in order to be immobile?

Yellow Dog Linux? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23694893)

If only it was a PowerPC cluster!

Yellow Dog Linux [] distro home page.

If this gets big... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23695119)

..., will in vitro fertilization than be like having sex with a robot?

What about jobs?! (1)

EvilPickles (943600) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695137)

I can imagine this invention taking away jobs from qualified people, and lets take into account the lack of jobs here in the USA, and how many jobs are being outsourced.

Autodoc? (2, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 6 years ago | (#23695361)

This sounds like one of the first steps in creating an autodoc from Larry Niven's books. Basically a box (coffin) you put someone in, close the lid and wait for it to fix them. It contains full life support, can perform surgery and produce (cloning?) it's own replacement parts.

Of more immediate use, this sort of thing could be very useful for situations where surgeons are not available. Ships at sea, trips to Mars, NHS hospitals with long waiting lists...

Re:Autodoc? (1)

awrowe (1110817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696867)

Do you reckon NASA would get upset at the astronaut who typed 'apt-get dist-update && apt-get dist-upgrade' from mars? "But dude, they finally fixed X in this one!"

Re:Autodoc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23698001)

aw shit...fglrx doesn't work with this kernel...oh well..init 3 and email houston...
tune in next week for "Deep Space Command Line"

Re:Autodoc? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700201)

Actually, the first step was to develop techniques for imaging (parts of) the body (CAT, MRI, PET, X-Ray, whatever.)

It's not a Beowulf Cluster (3, Funny)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696875)

Does this qualify as a Beowoof Cluster?

Always mount a scratch monkey! (1)

waldo2020 (592242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697129)

Before testing or reconfiguring, always mount a scratch monkey

Killer app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23700279)

Sounds like a real killer app.

"Surgery" is a bit misleading (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23700315)

From the article it sounds like the real development is combining thermal MR and thermal ablation therapy with a computer to give you more confidence that you've properly heated the whole target. The computer doesn't do any cutting. It doesn't make the incision, or sew it back up.

If you want to consider what it does surgery then you really should include radiotherapy treatments that have been computer controlled for years.

So, how many (1)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23704949)

linux computers doe it take to KILL a dog?

The "New You"... (1)

Visual Echo (928267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23726043)

The "New You" cosmetic surgery laser gone haywire in "Logan's Run" comes to mind. On the other hand, can I get one of these to melt snow on the road a few centimeters in front of my 70MPH tires? How many development cycles before 5,840 processors will fit in my glove box?
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