Using quantum mechanics as the basis, computer scientists, physicists and chemists are working together to produce simulations of the molecule in which photosynthesis occurs. They have executed an OCTOPUS software package in the fastest supercomputers in Europe and, after incorporating various improvements, they have carried out the biggest simulations made in this field by efficiently using thousands of processors.
Ultimately, Katrina was responsible for 1,833 deaths and damage estimated at $151 billion, including $75 billion in the New Orleans area and along the Mississippi coast. Over the past decade, researchers have been working steadily to collect and analyze data on the storm’s aftermath, including coastal change, science for recovery and restoration, and census data.
Scientists have created the world’s first digital map of seafloor geology. It is the first time the composition of the seafloor, covering 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, has been mapped in 40 years; the most recent map was hand-drawn in the 1970s. The map will help us better understand how oceans have responded, and will respond, to environmental change. It also reveals deep ocean basins to be much more complex than previously thought.
It might not be possible to convince someone who believes that vaccines cause autism that they don’t. Telling skeptics that their belief is not scientifically supported often backfires and strengthens, rather than weakens, their anti-vaccine views. But researchers say they have found a way to overcome some of the most entrenched anti-vaccine attitudes: Remind the skeptics — with words and images — why vaccines exist.
This 100X photo shows phosphofructokinase, a kinase enzyme that phosphorylates fructose 6-phosphate in glycolysis. Glycolysis is a pathway that uses glucose to maintain a steady amount of adenosine triphosphate, the major energy carrier in living cells. It was designated an Image of Distinction in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope.
Searching Big Data Faster: Theoretical Analysis could expand Accelerated Search Applications in Biology, Other FieldsAugust 26, 2015 1:57 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments
For more than a decade, gene sequencers have been improving more rapidly than the computers required to make sense of their outputs. Searching for DNA sequences in existing genomic databases can already take hours, and the problem is likely to get worse. Researchers have been investigating techniques to make biological and chemical data easier to analyze by, in some sense, compressing it.
Upon receipt of the book Alan Turing: The Enigma, an amusing anecdote jumped to mind. In high school, one of the more formal teachers advised us not to go on a book hunt with a ruler! He was, of course, referring to choosing the one with the least number of pages. This rather large volume on Alan Turing, the cryptanalysis and mathematical genius who did much to define the modern computer, is certainly the most complete work done to date.
Earthquakes occur on a massive scale and often originate deep below the Earth's surface, making them notoriously difficult to predict. The Southern California Earthquake Center uses massive computing power to improve our understanding of earthquakes, helping to provide long-term earthquake forecasts and more accurate hazard assessments. PressOn project aims to create more physically-realistic, wave-based earthquake simulations.
For the last three years, NSF has made a series of competitive grants to over 100 U.S. universities to aggressively upgrade their campus network capacity for greatly enhanced science data access. NSF is now building on that distributed investment by funding a $5 million, five-year award to UC San Diego and UC Berkeley to establish a Pacific Research Platform, a science-driven high-capacity data-centric freeway system.
Crash-tolerant Data Storage: File System Mathematically Guaranteed Not to Lose Track of Data during CrashesAugust 26, 2015 10:43 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments
In a computer operating system, the file system is the part that writes data to disk and tracks where the data is stored. If the computer crashes while it’s writing data, the file system’s records can become corrupt. Hours of work could be lost, or programs could stop working properly. At SOSP 2015, MIT researchers will present the first file system that is mathematically guaranteed not to lose track of data during crashes.
This 40X photo of a flower embryo was designated an Image of Distinction in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken using fiber optic illumination, reflected light and extended focus.
Given that advanced mathematical training is critical for helping to solve some of the most challenging questions about the brain works, why are there so few mathematical neuroscientists? I hated biology when I was a kid. It was too messy, too shallow, too unprincipled for my taste, and I gave up studying it at school almost as fast as I could. Instead, I wanted to be a theoretical physicist...
Black holes don't actually swallow and destroy physical information, according to an idea proposed by Stephen Hawking at the Hawking Radiation conference being held at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Instead, they store it in a two-dimensional hologram. One of the most baffling questions facing a generation of physicists is what happens to the information about the physical state of things that are swallowed up by black holes?
Intel and BlueData announced a broad strategic technology and business collaboration, as well as an additional equity investment in BlueData from Intel Capital. This relationship will bring together BlueData’s infrastructure software for big data with data center architecture based on Intel Xeon processor technology. The goal is to accelerate the adoption of big data solutions by simplifying deployment.
Biophysicists have taken step forward in the quest for an automated method to infer models describing a system’s dynamics — a so-called robot scientist. The finding is a practical algorithm for inferring laws of nature from time-series data of dynamical systems. Everything that is changing around and within us — from the relatively simple motion of celestial bodies, to weather and complex biological processes — is a dynamical system.