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  • richardmitnick 2:59 pm on October 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From isgtw: “Laying the groundwork for data-driven science” 


    international science grid this week

    October 22, 2014
    Amber Harmon

    he ability to collect and analyze massive amounts of data is rapidly transforming science, industry, and everyday life — but many of the benefits of big data have yet to surface. Interoperability, tools, and hardware are still evolving to meet the needs of diverse scientific communities.

    data
    Image courtesy istockphoto.com.

    One of the US National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) goals is to improve the nation’s capacity in data science by investing in the development of infrastructure, building multi-institutional partnerships to increase the number of data scientists, and augmenting the usefulness and ease of using data.

    As part of that effort, the NSF announced $31 million in new funding to support 17 innovative projects under the Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs) program. Now in its second year, the 2014 DIBBs awards support research in 22 states and touch on research topics in computer science, information technology, and nearly every field of science supported by the NSF.

    “Developed through extensive community input and vetting, NSF has an ambitious vision and strategy for advancing scientific discovery through data,” says Irene Qualters, division director for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. “This vision requires a collaborative national data infrastructure that is aligned to research priorities and that is efficient, highly interoperable, and anticipates emerging data policies.”

    Of the 17 awards, two support early implementations of research projects that are more mature; the others support pilot demonstrations. Each is a partnership between researchers in computer science and other science domains.

    One of the two early implementation grants will support a research team led by Geoffrey Fox, a professor of computer science and informatics at Indiana University, US. Fox’s team plans to create middleware and analytics libraries that enable large-scale data science on high-performance computing systems. Fox and his team plan to test their platform with several different applications, including geospatial information systems (GIS), biomedicine, epidemiology, and remote sensing.

    “Our innovative architecture integrates key features of open source cloud computing software with supercomputing technology,” Fox said. “And our outreach involves ‘data analytics as a service’ with training and curricula set up in a Massive Open Online Course or MOOC.”Among others, US institutions collaborating on the project include Arizona State University in Phoenix; Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia; and Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

    Ken Koedinger, professor of human computer interaction and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, leads the other early implementation project. Koedinger’s team concentrates on developing infrastructure that will drive innovation in education.

    The team will develop a distributed data infrastructure, LearnSphere, that will make more educational data accessible to course developers, while also motivating more researchers and companies to share their data with the greater learning sciences community.

    “We’ve seen the power that data has to improve performance in many fields, from medicine to movie recommendations,” Koedinger says. “Educational data holds the same potential to guide the development of courses that enhance learning while also generating even more data to give us a deeper understanding of the learning process.”

    The DIBBs program is part of a coordinated strategy within NSF to advance data-driven cyberinfrastructure. It complements other major efforts like the DataOne project, the Research Data Alliance, and Wrangler, a groundbreaking data analysis and management system for the national open science community.

    See the full article here.

    iSGTW is an international weekly online publication that covers distributed computing and the research it enables.

    “We report on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds. We also regularly feature articles on distributed computing-enabled research in a large variety of disciplines, including physics, biology, sociology, earth sciences, archaeology, medicine, disaster management, crime, and art. (Note that we do not cover stories that are purely about commercial technology.)

    In its current incarnation, iSGTW is also an online destination where you can host a profile and blog, and find and disseminate announcements and information about events, deadlines, and jobs. In the near future it will also be a place where you can network with colleagues.

    You can read iSGTW via our homepage, RSS, or email. For the complete iSGTW experience, sign up for an account or log in with OpenID and manage your email subscription from your account preferences. If you do not wish to access the website’s features, you can just subscribe to the weekly email.”

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  • richardmitnick 6:57 pm on July 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From isgtw: “A case for computational mechanics in medicine” 

    international science grid this week

    July 23, 2014
    Monica Kortsha

    Members of the US National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and collaborators, including Thomas Hughes, director of the computational mechanics group at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at The University of Texas at Austin, US, and Shaolie Hossain, ICES research fellow and research scientist at the Texas Heart Institute, have published an article reviewing the new opportunities computational mechanics is creating in medicine.

    New treatments for tumor growth and heart disease are just two opportunities presenting themselves. The article is published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. “This journal truly serves as an interface between medicine and science,” Hossain says. “If physicians are looking for computational research advancements, the article is sure to grab their attention.”

    The article presents three research areas where computational medicine has already made important progress, and will likely continue to do so: nano and microdevices, biomedical devices — including diagnostic systems, and organ models — and cellular mechanics.

    “[Disease is a] multi-scale phenomena and investigators research diverse aspects of it,” says Hossain, explaining that although disease may be perceived at an organ level, treatments usually function at the molecular and cellular scales.

    Hughes and Hossain’s research on vulnerable plaques (VPs), a category of atherosclerosis responsible for 70% of all lethal heart attacks, is an example of applied research incorporating all three notable areas.

    two
    Hughes and Hossain pictured next to a simulation of a vulnerable plaque within an artery. Current medical techniques cannot effectively detect vulnerable plaques. However, Hughes and Hossain say that nano-particles and computational modeling technologies offer diagnostic and treatment solutions. Image courtesy the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, US.

    “The detection and treatment of VPs represents an enormous unmet clinical need,” says Hughes. “Progress on this has the potential to save innumerable lives. Computational mechanics combined with high-performance computing provides new and unique technologies for investigating disease, unlike anything that has been traditionally used in medical research.”

    heart
    HeartFlow uses anatomic data from coronary artery CT scans to create a 3D model of the coronary arteries. Coronary blood flow and pressure are computed by applying the principles of coronary physiology and computational fluid dynamics. Fractional flow reserve (FFRCT) is calculated as the ratio of distal coronary pressure to proximal aortic pressure, under conditions simulating maximal coronary hyperemia. The image demonstrates a stenosis (narrowing) of the left anterior descending coronary artery with an FFRCT of 0.58 distal to the stenosis (in red). FFR values ≤0.80 are hemodynamically significant (meaning they obstruct blood flow) and indicate that the patient may benefit from coronary revascularization (removing or bypassing blockages). Image courtesy HeartFlow.

    The high mortality rate attributed to VPs stems from their near clinical invisibility; conventional plaque detection techniques such as MRI and CT scanning do not register VPs because significant vascular narrowing is not present. Hughes and Hossain, however, have developed a computational toolset that can aid in making the plaques visible through targeted delivery of functionalized nanoparticles.

    Their computational models draw on patient-specific data to predict how well nanoparticles can adhere to a potential plaque, thus enabling researchers to test and refine site-specific treatments. If a VP is detected, the same techniques can be employed to send nanoparticles containing medicine directly to the VP.

    The models are being applied at the Texas Heart Institute, where Hossain is a research scientist and assistant professor. “Early intervention and prevention of heart attacks are where we certainly want to go and we are excited about the possibilities for computational mechanics being a vehicle to get us there safely and more rapidly,” says James Willerson, Texas Heart Institute president.

    Other computationally aided models are already being used to help physicians evaluate and treat patients. HeartFlow, a company founded by Charles Taylor, uses CT scan data to create patient-specific models of arteries, which can be used to diagnose coronary artery disease.

    Despite its success and demonstrated potential, computational mechanics in the medical field is still a new concept for scientists and physicians alike, says Hossain. “The potential that we have, in my opinion, hasn’t been tapped to the fullest because of the gap in knowledge.”

    To help integrate medicine into a field that has historically focused on more traditional engineering domains, the article advocates for incorporating biology and chemistry questions into computational mechanics classes, as well as offering classes that can benefit both medical and computational science students.

    See the full article here.

    iSGTW is an international weekly online publication that covers distributed computing and the research it enables.

    “We report on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds. We also regularly feature articles on distributed computing-enabled research in a large variety of disciplines, including physics, biology, sociology, earth sciences, archaeology, medicine, disaster management, crime, and art. (Note that we do not cover stories that are purely about commercial technology.)

    In its current incarnation, iSGTW is also an online destination where you can host a profile and blog, and find and disseminate announcements and information about events, deadlines, and jobs. In the near future it will also be a place where you can network with colleagues.

    You can read iSGTW via our homepage, RSS, or email. For the complete iSGTW experience, sign up for an account or log in with OpenID and manage your email subscription from your account preferences. If you do not wish to access the website’s features, you can just subscribe to the weekly email.”


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  • richardmitnick 6:02 pm on October 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From isgtw: “Preparing for tomorrow’s big data” 

    Until recently, the large CERN experiments, ATLAS and CMS, owned and controlled the computing infrastructure they operated on in the US, and accessed data only when it was locally available on the hardware they operated. However, [Frank] Würthwein, UC San Diego, explains, with data-taking rates set to increase dramatically by the end of LS1 in 2015, the current operational model is no longer viable to satisfy peak processing needs. Instead, he argues, large-scale processing centers need to be created dynamically to cope with spikes in demand. To this end, Würthwein and colleagues carried out a successful proof-of-concept study, in which the Gordon Supercomputer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center was dynamically and seamlessly integrated into the CMS production system to process a 125-terabyte data set.

    gordon
    SDSC’s Gordon Supercomputer. Photo: Alan Decker. Gordon is part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, or XSEDE program, a nationwide partnership comprising 16 supercomputers and high-end visualization and data analysis resources.

    See the full article here.

    iSGTW is an international weekly online publication that covers distributed computing and the research it enables.

    “We report on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds. We also regularly feature articles on distributed computing-enabled research in a large variety of disciplines, including physics, biology, sociology, earth sciences, archaeology, medicine, disaster management, crime, and art. (Note that we do not cover stories that are purely about commercial technology.)

    In its current incarnation, iSGTW is also an online destination where you can host a profile and blog, and find and disseminate announcements and information about events, deadlines, and jobs. In the near future it will also be a place where you can network with colleagues.

    You can read iSGTW via our homepage, RSS, or email. For the complete iSGTW experience, sign up for an account or log in with OpenID and manage your email subscription from your account preferences. If you do not wish to access the website’s features, you can just subscribe to the weekly email.”


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  • richardmitnick 11:36 am on July 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From isgtw: "Mystery solved: X-ray light emitted from black holes" 

    July 17, 2013
    Amber Harmon

    “Exactly how do black holes produce so many high-power X-rays? The answer has remained a mystery to scientists for decades – until now. Supported by 40 years of theoretical progress, astrophysicists have conducted research that finally bridges the gap between theory and observation, demonstrating that gas spiraling toward a black hole inevitably results in X-ray emissions.

    Published in May in The Astrophysical Journal, the study reveals that gas spiraling toward a black hole through an accretion disk (formed by material in orbit, typically around a star) heats up to roughly 10 million degrees Celsius. The main body of the disk is roughly 2,000 times hotter than the sun, and emits low-energy or “soft” X-rays. However, observations also detect “hard” X-rays, which produce up to 100 times higher energy levels. The collaborators showed for the first time that high-energy light emission is an inevitable outcome of gas being drawn into a black hole.

    As the quality and quantity of high-energy light observations improved over the years, increasing evidence showed that photons are created in a hot, tenuous region called the corona. This corona, boiling violently above the comparatively cool accretion disk, is similar to the corona surrounding the sun, which is responsible for much of the ultra-violet and X-ray luminosity seen in the solar spectrum.

    Collaborators on the study include Julian Krolik, professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, US, Jeremy Schnittman, lead author and research astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, US, and Scott Noble, an associate research scientist at the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, US.”

    See the full article here.

    iSGTW is an international weekly online publication that covers distributed computing and the research it enables.

    “We report on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds. We also regularly feature articles on distributed computing-enabled research in a large variety of disciplines, including physics, biology, sociology, earth sciences, archaeology, medicine, disaster management, crime, and art. (Note that we do not cover stories that are purely about commercial technology.)

    In its current incarnation, iSGTW is also an online destination where you can host a profile and blog, and find and disseminate announcements and information about events, deadlines, and jobs. In the near future it will also be a place where you can network with colleagues.

    You can read iSGTW via our homepage, RSS, or email. For the complete iSGTW experience, sign up for an account or log in with OpenID and manage your email subscription from your account preferences. If you do not wish to access the website’s features, you can just subscribe to the weekly email.”


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  • richardmitnick 6:04 am on July 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From isgtw: “Here comes the sun: Harvard and the World Community Grid light the way to affordable solar cells” 

    July 3, 2013
    Ceci Jones SchrockClean Energy

    “The dream of a solar-powered world recently took a major step forward. On 24 June, in a joint announcement with the US White House and IBM, the Harvard Clean Energy Project released a database of 2.3 million organic compounds – 35,000 of which have promising properties for high-performance semiconductors – that solar-power developers could use to make affordable photovoltaic cells (PVCs). In the spirit of open science, the project provides the Harvard Clean Energy Project Database (CEPDB) free of charge to the public and researchers.

    Affordability is crucial to the success of solar power. The sun has always been up to the task of powering our planet, with enough sunlight reaching Earth every hour to supply our energy needs for an entire year. However, humans have yet to find a way to convert light into energy sufficiently cheaply and efficiently. Today’s commercially available solar cells are typically made of inorganic semiconductor materials, such as silicon, and require a lot of energy and capital to produce.

    The Clean Energy Project’s announcement is a potential game changer. Led by Harvard quantum chemist Alán Aspuru-Guzik, the project seeks to develop candidate molecules for high-performance solar cells made of plastic. These materials can be made in the form of sheets, films, and coatings — imagine powering your home with PVCs painted on the roof. But how do scientists determine which molecules – out of millions of possible combinations – will most efficiently absorb light and convert it into electricity?

    For Aspuru-Guzik, the answer was clear: run computer simulations through World Community Grid, the world’s largest nonprofit computing grid. This IBM-sponsored initiative allows anyone who owns a computer to install secure, free software that uses the machine’s spare compute resources when it is idle. All of the WCG’s sponsored projects help humanity in some way, and the scientific results are available in the public domain. In addition to the Clean Energy Project, volunteers with the World Community Grid are donating their computing time to help fight malaria and childhood cancer, find clean water, and cure muscular dystrophy.”

    WCG

    See the full article here.

    All WCG projects run on BOINC software from The Space Science Lab at UC Berkeley.

    BOINC

    iSGTW is an international weekly online publication that covers distributed computing and the research it enables.

    “We report on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds. We also regularly feature articles on distributed computing-enabled research in a large variety of disciplines, including physics, biology, sociology, earth sciences, archaeology, medicine, disaster management, crime, and art. (Note that we do not cover stories that are purely about commercial technology.)

    In its current incarnation, iSGTW is also an online destination where you can host a profile and blog, and find and disseminate announcements and information about events, deadlines, and jobs. In the near future it will also be a place where you can network with colleagues.

    You can read iSGTW via our homepage, RSS, or email. For the complete iSGTW experience, sign up for an account or log in with OpenID and manage your email subscription from your account preferences. If you do not wish to access the website’s features, you can just subscribe to the weekly email.”


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  • richardmitnick 10:47 am on April 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From isgtw: “Tackling hereditary diseases with the help of grid computing’ 

    March 27, 2013
    Audrey Gerber

    “The key to understanding, treating and eventually preventing hereditary diseases lies in identifying and mapping the genetic mutations which cause them, and understanding the underlying cascade of biological events that can occur when mutations are present. In order to do this, researchers need to decipher DNA sequences.

    By determining the precise order of the four nucleotides within a strand of DNA, scientists are uncovering the basic building blocks of life and revealing, quite literally, what it is that ‘makes us tick’ — or, more importantly, what happens when one of these mechanisms that makes us tick goes awry.

    chart
    As easy as AGCT! Image courtesy George Gastin, Wikimedia Commons.

    The advent of an entirely new technology, ‘next-generation sequencing’ (NGS), offers a fundamentally different approach that is ushering in a new age of genomic science and completely new cost paradigms that make genetic technologies more accessible.

    So what’s the next step? Although NGS may be used to sequence the whole genome, selected genomic sequences or genes may be enriched to sequence specific genes only. This approach is being adopted to sequence all the genes associated with a specific disease – at the same cost as sequencing a single gene by CE, and with a much lower effect on patient privacy. Pronto Diagnostics, a Tel-Aviv-based developer of molecular diagnostic products and services, is working to extend the power of affordable desktop NGS instruments and bring more powerful diagnostic capabilities to clinical feasibility.

    Pronto Diagnostics does not have in-house bioinformatics capabilities of the scale required for NGS-based research. In fact, few commercial companies do outside of global pharmaceutical conglomerates or academic-based laboratories and institutions. Consequently, the company turned to IsraGrid, Israel’s National Grid Initiative (NGI), for assistance. IsraGrid is a cooperative initiative of three government ministries: Industry & Trade, Finance and Defense, and Israel’s Council for Higher Education. It was initiated in the framework of the National Infrastructures for R&D Forum, spearheaded by leading high-tech industrialists, to provide Grid and Cloud computing infrastructure for important research. And to extend capacity, IsraGrid is a partner in the European Grid Initiative (EGI), providing full access to this enormous resource.”

    logo

    egi

    See the full article here.

    I AM INCLUDING THIS ARTICLE BECAUSE I BELIEVE THIS TO BE AN IMPORTANT TOPIC. HOWEVER, I WAS NOT ABLE TO FIND ANY INFORMATION ABOUT HOW ISRAGRID OR THE EUROPEAN GRID INITIATIVE FUNCTIONS. LET’S ALL HOPE THAT THE WORK IS PRODUCTIVE.

    iSGTW is an international weekly online publication that covers distributed computing and the research it enables.

    “We report on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds. We also regularly feature articles on distributed computing-enabled research in a large variety of disciplines, including physics, biology, sociology, earth sciences, archaeology, medicine, disaster management, crime, and art. (Note that we do not cover stories that are purely about commercial technology.)

    In its current incarnation, iSGTW is also an online destination where you can host a profile and blog, and find and disseminate announcements and information about events, deadlines, and jobs. In the near future it will also be a place where you can network with colleagues.

    You can read iSGTW via our homepage, RSS, or email. For the complete iSGTW experience, sign up for an account or log in with OpenID and manage your email subscription from your account preferences. If you do not wish to access the website’s features, you can just subscribe to the weekly email.”


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  • richardmitnick 1:27 pm on January 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From isgtw: “New drug-design strategy could help tackle mental disorders” 

    January 30, 2013
    Jan Zverina

    A team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego, US, and the Institut Pasteur, France, have come up with a novel way to describe a time-dependent brain development based on coherent-gene-group (CGG) and transcription-factor (TF) hierarchy. The findings could lead to new drug designs for mental disorders such as autism-spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.

    capsule
    Diagram showing the novel strategy of drug design based on hierarchical CGG–TF network analysis. The blue squares are schizophrenia-related; the red squares are autism-related CGGs and TFs. (Some CGGs and TFs are common for both disorders, while some are unique for each disorder.) Drugs can be administered at different hierarchical levels and delivered either to a set of possible targets or to the selected CGG. Image courtesy Igor Tsigelny.

    ‘What we found was existence of the coherent gene groups that have interacting genes and which work as a multi-gene modules to regulate the brain development,’ explains Igor Tsigelny, a research scientist with San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), as well as UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and the Department of Neurosciences.

    These groups of genes act in concert to send signals at various levels of the hierarchy to other groups of genes, which control the general and more specific (depending on the level) events in brain structure development.

    The researchers obtain microarray gene expression data from samples taken from three regions of the brains of rats on various days of development. They then use the Gordon supercomputer and SDSC’s BiologicalNetworks server to conduct numerous levels of analysis.

    ‘Microarray data are clusterized with SOMs [self-organizing maps] – which helps us not only group genes with similar behavior,but also see clearly the genes active for each day of development. Based on this information, zones are associated with significant developmental changes and brain disorders and genes are determined,’ explains Valentina Kouznetsova, assistant project scientist at Moores Cancer Center.”

    See the full article here.

    isgtw is an international weekly online publication that covers distributed computing and the research it enables.

    “We report on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds. We also regularly feature articles on distributed computing-enabled research in a large variety of disciplines, including physics, biology, sociology, earth sciences, archaeology, medicine, disaster management, crime, and art. (Note that we do not cover stories that are purely about commercial technology.)

    In its current incarnation, iSGTW is also an online destination where you can host a profile and blog, and find and disseminate announcements and information about events, deadlines, and jobs. In the near future it will also be a place where you can network with colleagues.

    You can read iSGTW via our homepage, RSS, or email. For the complete iSGTW experience, sign up for an account or log in with OpenID and manage your email subscription from your account preferences. If you do not wish to access the website’s features, you can just subscribe to the weekly email.”


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  • richardmitnick 1:48 pm on January 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cloud computing, , isgtw   

    From isgtw: “The future for science in Europe is bright – and full of clouds!” 

    January 23, 2013
    Andrew Purcell

    “Last week, the Helix Nebula consortium held an event at the European Space Agency’s ESRIN facility in Frascati, Italy, to review the success of the project’s proof-of-concept phase. Helix Nebula aims to pave the way for the development and exploitation of a European wide cloud computing infrastructure. While this is initially based on the needs of IT-intense scientific research organisations in Europe, Helix Nebula intends to also serve governmental organisations and industry and, as such, will also reflect the needs of these stakeholders.

    esrin
    ESA’s ESRIN facility in Frascati, Italy, where yesterday’s event was held. Image courtesy ESA.

    “Helix Nebula is a partnership that was born out of a vision, says Maryline Lengert a senior advisor in the IT department of the European Space Agency (ESA), a founding partner of the initiative. ‘We want to operate as an ecosystem. Today, the market is fragmented, but we want to bring it together and by doing so we will benefit from the stability of diversity.’

    hn

    ESA, is working in collaboration with the French and German national space agencies, as well as the National Research Council in Italy, to create an Earth observation platform focusing on earthquake and volcano research. However, the maps created through this project can take over 300 hours of sequential computation time to complete, explains ESA’s Sveinung Loekken. ‘We want to put the processing of the maps onto the cloud, rather than on somebody’s workstation, which obviously struggles to handle it,’ says Loekken. ‘We want to give people access to large data processing capabilities. This is the raison d’être of the scheme.

    This project is one of three flagship projects undertaken during Helix Nebula’s two-year pilot phase. Ramon Medrano Llamas presented findings from CERN’s flagship project, which has seen the organization gain access to more computing power to process data from the international ATLAS experiment at its Large Hadron Collider accelerator. This has allowed CERN the possibility to dynamically acquire additional resources when needed. “The proof-of-concept deployment has been very successful,” concludes Llamas. ‘Processing in the cloud clearly works.’ Over the longer term, it is also hoped that use of commercial cloud resources could become a useful addition to very large data centres owned and managed by the scientific community.”

    See the full article here.

    isgtw is an international weekly online publication that covers distributed computing and the research it enables.

    “We report on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds. We also regularly feature articles on distributed computing-enabled research in a large variety of disciplines, including physics, biology, sociology, earth sciences, archaeology, medicine, disaster management, crime, and art. (Note that we do not cover stories that are purely about commercial technology.)

    In its current incarnation, iSGTW is also an online destination where you can host a profile and blog, and find and disseminate announcements and information about events, deadlines, and jobs. In the near future it will also be a place where you can network with colleagues.

    You can read iSGTW via our homepage, RSS, or email. For the complete iSGTW experience, sign up for an account or log in with OpenID and manage your email subscription from your account preferences. If you do not wish to access the website’s features, you can just subscribe to the weekly email.”


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  • richardmitnick 1:50 pm on January 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , isgtw   

    From isgtw: “The mystery of the slowing space probes” 

    Find out how big data preservation helped to solve the Pioneer anomaly

    January 16, 2013
    Stefan Janusz

    It could have been the slowing of their on-board clocks. They could have been feeling the effects of dark energy. Or, perhaps, they provided just the evidence needed to support a theory of modified Newtonian dynamics – proposed to explain why spiral galaxies don’t lose their shape as they spin.

    p10
    Pioneer 10* (Image NASA Ames Research Center)

    Thermal radiation was emanating from the decaying radioisotopes which serve as the probes’ power sources and this was producing a small amount of thermal recoil. Thermal recoil is a miniscule force which results from the emission of thermal photons from a surface. If the emission of these photons is unevenly distributed across the surface of a spacecraft, they could cause an imbalance in the forces acting on different parts of the spacecraft. This is exactly what happened in the case of Pioneer 10 and 11, due to each probe’s radioactive power source being held on the end of a long boom, so as to prevent it interfering with sensor equipment.

    Larry Kellogg, a former Pioneer team member, had a hunch that the answer lay in careful reanalysis of the data. He had been preserving it for years, scrupulously transferring it from magnetic tape and magneto-optical disks that had been abandoned under a staircase at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory onto a modern hard disk, where it could be more easily accessed. 40Gb of Doppler data, and some meticulous computer modeling of the craft (there were no CAD models for Pioneer 10 when it was launched 40 years ago), eventually identified thermal recoil as the most likely candidate for the slowdown.”

    See the full article here.

    *Pioneer 11 looks identical to Pioneer 10

    isgtw is an international weekly online publication that covers distributed computing and the research it enables.

    “We report on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds. We also regularly feature articles on distributed computing-enabled research in a large variety of disciplines, including physics, biology, sociology, earth sciences, archaeology, medicine, disaster management, crime, and art. (Note that we do not cover stories that are purely about commercial technology.)

    In its current incarnation, iSGTW is also an online destination where you can host a profile and blog, and find and disseminate announcements and information about events, deadlines, and jobs. In the near future it will also be a place where you can network with colleagues.

    You can read iSGTW via our homepage, RSS, or email. For the complete iSGTW experience, sign up for an account or log in with OpenID and manage your email subscription from your account preferences. If you do not wish to access the website’s features, you can just subscribe to the weekly email.”


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
  • richardmitnick 4:59 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , isgtw, ,   

    From iSGTW: “Hunting exoplanets with Kepler and Kraken” 

    August 29, 2012
    Gregory Scott Jones

    “In 1605, Johannes Kepler announced his first law of planetary motion, essentially stating that planets move around the sun with an elliptical, rather than circular, orbit…forays into global exploration produced all sorts of skewed maps and mythical creatures, such as the Kraken, a giant sea monster – thought to have been inspired by real sightings of giant squid – and greatly feared among sailors of the day.

    Now, more than 400 years later, two magnificent machines bearing the namesakes of Kepler and Kraken are making new waves into the next great frontier: deep space.

    kraken
    The Cray XT5 “Kraken” supercomputer

    nk
    NASA’s Kepler space telescope

    Today’s Kraken is an XT5 high-performance computer. But, instead of devouring sailors, this monster favors numbers. It’s capable of more than a petaflop (a thousand trillion calculations per second) and managed by the University of Tennessee’s National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS) for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    Kraken is used to measure the properties of the stars orbited by potential Earth-like planets, properties such as radius, mass, age, and bulk composition, or the proportions of individual gases throughout the star. This mountain of data comes from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which is currently hunting for Earth-like planets throughout the Milky Way, surveying a multitude of stars to determine how many might support orbiting, Earth-like planets.

    Two things are required for a planetary body to be labeled Earth-like: its orbit must reside within the habitable ‘Goldilocks Zone‘ of the host star, a distance suitable for water, and possibly life, to exist; and it also must be roughly ‘Earth-sized,’ meaning no more than 25 percent larger than the radius of the Earth.

    And, now,

    Kepler grabbed headlines with the discovery of Kepler 22b last year, the first planet discovered by the telescope that resides in the Goldilocks Zone. However, it failed the size test with a radius roughly 2.4 times that of Earth’s.”

    See the full article here.

    iSGTW is an international weekly online publication that covers distributed computing and the research it enables.

    “We report on all aspects of distributed computing technology, such as grids and clouds. We also regularly feature articles on distributed computing-enabled research in a large variety of disciplines, including physics, biology, sociology, earth sciences, archaeology, medicine, disaster management, crime, and art. (Note that we do not cover stories that are purely about commercial technology.)

    In its current incarnation, iSGTW is also an online destination where you can host a profile and blog, and find and disseminate announcements and information about events, deadlines, and jobs. In the near future it will also be a place where you can network with colleagues.

    You can read iSGTW via our homepage, RSS, or email. For the complete iSGTW experience, sign up for an account or log in with OpenID and manage your email subscription from your account preferences. If you do not wish to access the website’s features, you can just subscribe to the weekly email.”


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