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Enter the Shoggoth (1362079) writes "he nation’s most powerful computer was officially launched today at the opening of the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) high performance computing centre at The Australian National University (ANU).
Named after the Japanese god of thunder, lightning and storms, Raijin can perform the same number of calculations in one hour that would take seven billion people armed with calculators 20 years.
The supercomputer is the largest in Australia, and will enable researchers to process vast volumes of data that would otherwise take years to complete, and simply not be possible using desktop computers.
“Advanced computational methods form an increasingly essential component of high-impact research, in many cases underpinning discoveries that cannot be achieved by other means, as well as underpinning the platform with which to sustain innovation at an internationally competitive level,” said Professor Lindsay Botten, Director of the NCI.
Capable of running at 1.2 petaflops (a measure of speed) when performing at its peak, Raijin can complete 170,000 calculations for every human on the face of the Earth, every second.
The computer’s speed enables researchers to run complex models. They might, for example, seek to understand the forces that bind the building blocks of our universe, to ‘supercharge’ the photosynthesis of virtual crops or to understand the dynamics of the world’s oceans and their impact on the climate.
The operation of the NCI is sustained through co-investment by a number of partner organisations including ANU, CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Geoscience Australia and other research-intensive universities supported by the Australian Research Council, the total of which amounts to a further $50 million over four years.
Senator the Honourable Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, was joined at the launch today by ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO, and BoM CEO Dr Rob Vertessy, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science Professor Andy Pitman and CEO of Geoscience Australia Dr Chris Pigram." Link to Original Source top
A team of researchers from Monash University, The Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston), Harvard Medical School and Vanda Pharmaceuticals has found a new drug with the potential to alleviate jet lag and sleep disorders caused by shift work.
Dr Shantha Rajaratnam from Monash University's School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine said tasimelteon, a drug which acts on melatonin receptors in the brain, could be a highly effective treatment for circadian rhythm sleep disorders.
The research was released today in respected publication, The Lancet.
"Our studies show that tasimelteon is able to effectively shift the rhythm of melatonin levels in the body, which are a well-established marker of the human biological clock," Dr Rajaratnam said.
"This drug has the potential to improve the quality and quantity of sleep for patients with transient insomnia caused by jet lag.
"Tasimelteon improved a patient's ability to fall asleep and then stay asleep when bedtime was shifted earlier by five hours.
"This is the equivalent of travelling eastwards and putting your clock back five hours, such as returning from India to Melbourne, or Dubai to Perth.
"About two thirds of all international travellers who cross time zones experience jet lag symptoms, which include disruption of sleep, difficulty getting to and staying asleep, sleepiness during waking hours and gastrointestinal symptoms."
He said the drug could also help those who work at night or early in the morning.
"An estimated one in five work outside the regular nine-to-five pattern. In the United states alone it is estimated 19.7 million people start work between 2.30 and 7 am," Dr Rajaratnam said.
"Our work has shown the drug to be highly potent, having the strongest effect when first taken; a single dose treatment was found to be effective for this type of sleep disturbance."
The drug is in the later stages of trials and must undergo rigorous testing before being made available to consumers.
Finally some good news for all those slashdotters whole work shift"