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Cosmic Slurp

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  4 days ago

aarondubrow (1866212) writes "A “tidal disruption” occurs when a star orbits too close to a black hole and gets sucked in. The phenomenon is accompanied by a bright flare with a unique signature that changes over time. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are using Stampede and other NSF-supported supercomputers to simulate tidal disruptions in order to better understand the dynamics of the process. Doing so helps astronomers find many more possible candidates of tidal disruptions in sky surveys and will reveal details of how stars and black holes interact."
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Investigating the Dark Matter of Life

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about 9 months ago

aarondubrow (1866212) writes "Metagenomics makes it possible to investigate microbes in their natural environments and in the complex communities in which they normally live, but requires massive computing power. Researchers from the J. Craig Ventor Institute used the Ranger supercomputer at TACC to determine the bacterial and viral diversity of the Indian Ocean as part of the Global Ocean Sampling Expedition. They reported their results in PLOS One in October 2012. They are now applying a metagenomic approach to the human esophagus and the microbial imbalances there that may play a role in certain kinds of gastric acid reflux and esophageal cancer."
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Sculpting Flow

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about 9 months ago

aarondubrow (1866212) writes "Researchers reported results in Nature Communications on a new way of sculpting tailor-made fluid flows by placing tiny pillars in microfluidic channels. The method could allow clinicians to better separate white blood cells in a sample, increase mixing in industrial applications, and more quickly perform lab-on-a-chip-type operation. Using the Ranger and Stampede supercomputers, the researchers ran more than 1,000 simulations representing combinations of speeds, thicknesses, heights or offsets that produce unique flows. This library of transformations will help the broader community design and use sculpted fluid flows."
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"Shields to Maximum, Mr. Scott"

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about 10 months ago

aarondubrow (1866212) writes "Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin developed a fundamentally new way of simulating fabric impacts that captures the fragmentation of the projectiles and the shock response of the target. Running hundreds of simulations on supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, they assisted NASA in the development of ballistic limit curves that predict whether a shield will be perforated when hit by a projectile of a given size and speed. The framework they developed also allows them to study the impact of projectiles on body armor materials and to predict the response of different fabric weaves upon impact."
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A Database of Brains

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about 10 months ago

aarondubrow (1866212) writes "Researchers recently created OpenfMRI, a web-based, supercomputer-powered tool that makes it easier for researchers to process, share, compare and rapidly analyze fMRI brain scans from many different studies. Applying supercomputing to the fMRI analysis allows researchers to conduct larger studies, test more hypotheses, and accommodate the growing spatial and time resolution of brain scans. The ultimate goal is to collect enough brain data to develop a bottom-up understanding of brain function."
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When Will My Computer Understand Me?

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about 10 months ago

aarondubrow (1866212) writes "For more than 50 years, linguists and computer scientists have tried to get computers to understand human language by programming semantics as software, with mixed results. Enabled by supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, University of Texas researchers are using new methods to more accurately represent language so computers can interpret it. Recently, they were awarded a grant from DARPA to combine distributional representation of word meanings with Markov logic networks to better capture the human understanding of language."
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Hip-Hip-Hadoop: Data Mining for Science

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about a year ago

aarondubrow (1866212) writes "In 2010, the Texas Advanced Computing Center began experimenting with Hadoop to test the technology's applicability for scientific problems. Researchers who are not C++ or Fortran programmers can quickly harness the power of Hadoop on the Longhorn remote visualization cluster to query massive collections and databases in new ways. Using TACC's Longhorn Hadoop system, researchers improved biomarker analysis, natural language processing and data mining of online health forums."
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Texas Unleashes Stampede for Science

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  1 year,17 days

aarondubrow (1866212) writes "You hear it before you see it — a roar like a factory in full production. But instead of cars or washing machines, this factory produces scientific knowledge.

Stampede, the newest supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and one of the most advanced scientific research instruments in the world, fills aisle after aisle of a new 11,000-square-foot data center on the J.J. Pickle Research Campus of The University of Texas at Austin. Over the past year TACC staff designed, built and deployed Stampede, working closely with Dell and Intel engineers and university researchers.

According to the November 2012 Top 500 list of supercomputers, Stampede is the seventh-most powerful advanced computing system on the planet, but it is the most powerful in the U.S. dedicated to academic research, capable of outperforming 100,000 home computers. In the first three months of operations, approximately 600 projects and more than 1,200 scientists have run on Stampede. These include top researchers in every field of inquiry from earthquake prediction to brain tumor imaging to CO2 capture and conversion."

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Garden Variety Mutants

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about a year and a half ago

aarondubrow writes "Geraniums are one of two plant groups known to have mutable genomes. The organization of the geranium's chloroplast genome and the genes within it are highly rearranged in comparison to other plants and the rates of change for certain gene sequences are highly elevated. Leading geranium scholars are using the Ranger supercomputer to better understand why the geranium has evolved to be so radically different from other plants and what this can tell us about genomic function in general."
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Exposing the Machinery of the Resistome

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about a year and a half ago

aarondubrow (1866212) writes "2011 Nobel Prize Winner, Bruce Beutler, is using the Ranger supercomputer at The University of Texas at Austin for an ambitious new project to discover all of the genes involved in the mammalian immune response – the so-called "resistome." Over several years, Beutler's lab will sequence the protein coding portions of genes in 8,000 mice to detect the impact of mutations on immunity. This means scanning, enriching and sequencing 500 billion base pairs every week. The project represents a "Big Data" problem of the highest order."
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Monogamy and the Immune System

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about a year and a half ago

aarondubrow (1866212) writes "Researchers from UC Berkeley examined the differences between two species of mice – one monogamous and one promiscuous – on a microscopic and molecular level. They discovered that the lifestyles of the two mice had a direct impact on the bacterial communities that reside within the female reproductive tract of the species. These differences correlate with enhanced diversifying selection on genes related to immunity against bacterial diseases."
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Mapping the Future of Climate Change in Africa

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about a year and a half ago

aarondubrow writes "The Climate Change and African Political Stability Program (CCAPS) has created a web tool that uses historical data to map the different levels of vulnerability to climate change at the sub-national level. The web tool will soon incorporate vulnerability measurements based on future climate projections, derived from simulations run on TACC's Ranger supercomputer."
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Small Molecule May Play Big Role in Alzheimer's Disease

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about 2 years ago

aarondubrow writes "Researchers from UC Santa Barbara used the Ranger supercomputer to simulate small forms of amyloid peptides that are believed to be a primary cause of toxicity in Alzheimer's disease. They found that hairpin-shaped forms of the peptide initiated the aggregation of oligomers that ultimately led to the formation of a fibril. The simulations are leading to new diagnostic and treatment options they may stop the disease."
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Molecular Matchmaking for Drug Discovery

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about 2 years ago

aarondubrow writes "For millennia, mankind has discovered new drugs either through educated guesswork or blind luck. But with the proliferation of advanced computing, a new paradigm has emerged whereby one can find drug targets through simulation and modeling...As a consequence of improvements to the image reconstruction and modeling algorithms, researchers can now identify secondary structures of molecules, like individual side-chains — floppy but crucial limbs that extend from the central spine of molecule. This level of detail is required to accurately predict binding."
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Better Batteries through Simulation

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  about 2 years ago

aarondubrow writes "In their paper, Ceder and his team describe the creation of Li9M3(P2O7)3(PO4)2 or lithium pyrophosphate — a material that never existed before — by means of artificial intelligence calculations performed on local clusters at MIT. They then turned to the Ranger supercomputer at TACC to perform diffusion calculations on the new material. The simulations led the scientists to understand why the material worked better than its less-complex relatives, and how it can be improved further."
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Upgrading the Hurricane Forecast

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

aarondubrow writes "Researchers used the Ranger supercomputer to test a new, high-resolution hurricane forecasting system that incorporates Doppler radar data from planes flying into the storm. The forecasts were shown to improve intensity predictions by an average of 20 to 40 percent over the official forecasts of the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The prediction system is being hailed as a breakthrough and is one of a handful being assessed by the NHC to become part of the operational forecasting system used in emergency situations."
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Convert 10 million TIFFs in a few days? No Problem

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

aarondubrow writes "A chance investigation in Guatemala City in 2005 led to the discovery of nearly 80 million pages of police records dating from 1882 to 1996 documenting human rights abuses. The Guatemalan researchers partnered with The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Advanced Computing Center to make the Archive available online. The Ranger supercomputer was used to create reference files for the first 10 million documents in just a few days. By speeding up the process, UT and the AHPN researchers were able to get the archive online in time for the Guatemalan elections."
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High-Stakes Predictions

aarondubrow aarondubrow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

aarondubrow writes "The emergence of the uncertainty quantification field was initially spurred in the mid-1990s by the federal government’s desire to use computer models to predict the reliability of nuclear weapons. Since then, the toll of high-stake events that could potentially have been better anticipated if improved predictive computer models had been available — like the Columbia disaster, Hurricane Katrina and the World Trade Center collapse after the 9/11 terrorist attacks — has catapulted research on uncertainty quantification to the scientific and engineering forefronts."
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