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Figure 1: 27 billion point, 400 GB LiDAR scan of the Wasatch front, acquired at .5m resolution. OSPRay allows for direct, full visualization of large data sets or whole databases, in-core with no simplification. Large-memory Intel Xeon processor hardware

Oil and Gas Geological Interpretation uses Supercomputers, HPC Tools to Visualize LiDAR Database Imagery

October 9, 2015 3:42 pm | by Linda Barney | Comments

This article looks at the impact of high performance computing on the geological interpretation stage of oil and gas exploration workflow. We look at how the Intel Parallel Computing Center at the SCI Institute, University of Utah performs geological interpretation by processing LiDAR databases using supercomputers and HPC tools for visualizing large scanned surface data, which can subsequently be used in models of oil and gas reservoirs.

You’d be in bad shape if your cells couldn’t fix DNA issues that arise. redondoself, CC BY

Chemistry Nobel DNA Research Lays Foundation for New Ways to Fight Cancer

October 9, 2015 8:16 am | by Rachel Litman Flynn, Boston University | Comments

Our cells are up against a daily onslaught of damage to DNA that encodes our genes. It takes constant effort to keep up with DNA disrepair — and if our cells didn’t bother to try to fix it, we might not survive. DNA damage repair pathways are an essential safeguard for the human genome. The 2015 Nobel Laureates in chemistry received the prize for their pioneering work figuring out the molecular machinery cells use to repair that damage.

OPESCI-FD code generation steps beginning with inputting partial differential equation (PDE). Courtesy of Tianjiao Sun, Imperial College London.

Advancing FWI Seismic Imaging and HPC Code Optimization

October 7, 2015 11:03 am | by Linda Barney | Comments

This article is the second of a two-part series on seismic imaging; it looks at HPC seismic imaging advances and full wave inversion (FWI) analysis performed by Imperial College, Intel Parallel Computing Center (Intel PCC) and SENAI CIMATEC, Brazil. Entering the exascale era of computing, disruptive changes to computer architectures offer many opportunities, however, also demand disruptive changes in software to achieve full potential.

View from the bottom of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory acrylic vessel and PMT array. Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CC BY

How Neutrinos, which Barely Exist, Just Ran Off with another Nobel Prize

October 7, 2015 9:29 am | by John Beacom, Ohio State University | Comments

Neutrinos take patience. They’re worth it, and the announcement of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics recognizes that, following related prizes in 1988 and 2002. Ironically, these near-undetectable particles can reveal things that cannot be seen any other way. Why should you care, beyond sharing our curiosity about revealing some of the weirdest things in the universe?

This photo taken September 23, 2011, and released by Xinhua News Agency on October 5, 2015, shows Chinese pharmacologist Tu Youyou posing with her trophy after winning the Lasker Award, a prestigious U.S. medical prize, in New York. Three scientists from

Secret Maoist Chinese Operation Conquered Malaria — and Won a Nobel

October 7, 2015 9:05 am | by Jia-Chen Fu, Emory University | Comments

At the height of the Cultural Revolution, Project 523 – a covert operation launched by the Chinese government and headed by young Chinese medical researcher Tu Youyou – discovered what has been the most powerful and effective antimalarial drug therapy to date. Derived from the sweet wormwood, artemisinin was only one of several hundred substances researchers culled from Chinese drugs and folk remedies and systematically tested.

Simplified workflow for decision making in E&P industry.

How Supercomputers aid Oil and Gas Seismic Research

October 6, 2015 3:59 pm | by Linda Barney | Comments

In today’s oil and gas industry, technology and supercomputers are used to help lower costs and decrease time required to discover deposits of petroleum buried under water and rock. Energy exploration, production and reservoir monitoring is the most significant big data and compute-intensive application in the private sector. To help reduce costs and impact on the environment, companies are turning to supercomputers to aid in exploration.

In The Martian, the stakes are neither bigger, nor smaller, than a single human life. 20th Century Fox

The Martian: A Space Epic that Explores Ordinary Human Decency

October 5, 2015 9:17 am | by Stephen Benedict Dyson, University of Connecticut | Comments

On the red planet, amid arid desert and rolling mountain ranges, six sleekly space-suited astronauts grope their way back to their launch vehicle, fleeing a sudden and vicious wind storm. Pelted and blinded by sand and metal, one of them is struck by debris and flung off into the darkness. The others, unable to stay any longer, leave him for dead, blasting off for Earth. Later, the abandoned astronaut is snapped back to consciousness...

Based on ESnet’s approach, the Science DMZ was defined and taken to the DOE science community. NSF has now cloned this approach through the CC-NIE program over the past three years, building it out on over 100 campuses.

Science DMZ Infrastructure Architecture Breaks down Barriers, Accelerates Data Flows

October 1, 2015 2:56 pm | by Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences | Comments

From individual universities around the country to a consortium of research institutions stretching the length of the west coast, networking teams are deploying an infrastructure architecture known as Science DMZ to help researchers make productive use of ever-increasing data flows. It traces its name to an element of network security architecture, where a demilitarized zone is a portion of a network dedicated to external-facing service.

Unlike science fiction films featuring grotesque aliens and faraway galaxies, Ridley Scott’s The Martian depicts a sci-fi space mission that could soon be science fact. Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

How Close are We to Actually Becoming Martians?

October 1, 2015 9:11 am | by Sidney Perkowitz, Emory University | Comments

Like any long-distance relationship, our love affair with Mars has had its ups and downs. A century ago, the American astronomer Percival Lowell mistakenly interpreted Martian surface features as canals that intelligent beings had built to distribute water across a dry world. This was just one example in a long history of imagining life on Mars. The latest entry is the sci-fi flick The Martian.

Mass extinctions are more complicated than ‘strength in numbers. Early on in the process, numbers are far from carrying capacity, and growth is exponential. Later on, progressively harder brakes are put on, and the rate of growth slows down, so that diver

Which Species will survive the Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction?

September 23, 2015 8:52 am | by Matthew Wills, University of Bath | Comments

Scientists recently suggested that the Earth’s sixth mass extinction has begun. As terrifying as that sounds, surely humans are too smart and too important to get wiped out? Palaeontologists have long tried to shed light on this question by looking for general rules that might predict the survival of a species. While this is not exactly a straightforward exercise, research so far indicates that the odds are not in our favor.

Repeating patterns are visually intriguing. Frank A Farris, CC BY-ND

Patterns are Math We Love to Look At

September 22, 2015 9:27 am | by Frank A Farris, Santa Clara University | Comments

Why do humans love to look at patterns? I can only guess, but I’ve written a whole book about new mathematical ways to make them. In Creating Symmetry, The Artful Mathematics of Wallpaper Patterns, I include a comprehensive set of recipes for turning photographs into patterns. The official definition of “pattern” is cumbersome; but you can think of a pattern as an image that repeats in some way...

The best shot yet. Courtesy of NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Stunning, Crystal-clear Images of Pluto – But What do They Mean?

September 21, 2015 10:25 am | by David Rothery, The Open University | Comments

The more we find out about Pluto, the more perplexing it seems. For several weeks after its July 14 fly-by, NASA’s probe New Horizons was too busy doing science to transmit data to Earth. During that time we had to content ourselves with the few “taster” images that were beamed back immediately after it passed Pluto. However the probe has now begun the year-long process of transmitting its vast haul of fly-by data.

Researchers are developing genomic resources for Seriola dorsalis to improve the brood stock selection of yellowtail kingfish for grow-out. Courtesy of Hubbs-Seaworld Research Institute

So Many People, So Little Food: Helping Feed the World through Genomics

September 17, 2015 12:37 pm | by Ken Strandberg | Comments

According to the UN, the world’s population will be over 9 billion by 2050 and over 11 billion by the next century. That’s a lot of souls for which the world’s farmers must produce nutrient-rich foods. In 2009, the Food and Agriculture Organization held a Forum to discuss food needs around the planet. The Forum projected that feeding over 9 billion people in 2050 would “require raising overall food production by some 70 percent ..."

Elegant but elusive. Researchers crunched Einstein's theory of general relativity on the Columbia supercomputer at the NASA Ames Research Center to create a three-dimensional simulation of merging black holes. This was the largest astrophysical calculatio

Five Myths about Gravitational Waves

September 15, 2015 11:16 am | by Siri Chongchitnan, University of Hull | Comments

The scientists behind the BICEP2 telescope, last year made an extraordinary claim that they had detected gravitational waves, which are ripples in space-time. Initially hailed as the most groundbreaking discovery of the century, it later proved a false alarm: the signal was merely galactic dust. So, are we likely to ever find gravitational waves? And would they really provide irrefutable evidence for the Big Bang?

So, just how many trees are out there? One billion, 10 billion, 100 billion? Satellites weren’t enough to get a global number.

How we found out there are Three Trillion Trees on Earth

September 4, 2015 9:50 am | by Henry B Glick, Yale University and Thomas Crowther, Yale University | Comments

Trees occupy much of Earth’s land surface. Many of us interact with them on a daily basis, whether driving down a rural country road, back-country skiing, or having a picnic in a city park. Whether large or small, trees play a wide range of roles in our global ecosystem, from sequestering atmospheric carbon to pulling nutrients to the surface from deep in the soil. So, just how many are out there? One billion, 10 billion, 100 billion?



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