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Hawking Offers New Solution to Black Hole Mystery: Black Holes Store, and Garble, Information

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — August 21-27

August 28, 2015 | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

Five must-read stories from the past week include exploring the limits of life in the Universe; the fastest moving glacier in the world shedding a significant iceberg; Stephen Hawking's new solution to the black hole mystery; one of the great disputes of 20th-century physics: the story of Philipp Lenard and Albert Einstein; and solving the ancient lunar fire fountain mystery.

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The enzyme TET binding to a segment of DNA. Courtesy of Kate Patterson

Art and Science Combine to Reveal Inner Workings of Our DNA

August 28, 2015 2:25 pm | by Kate Patterson, Garvan Institute and Susan Clark, Garvan Institute | Articles | Comments

How can cells that contain the same DNA end up so different from each other? That is not only a difficult question for science to answer, but also a challenging one to represent visually. It is also the question I posed at the start of my latest biomedical animation, called Tagging DNA, which visualizes the molecular mechanisms behind epigenetics.

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CODAP builds on the NSF-funded Data Games project. In the example seen here, you learn to read the conditional probability graph to beat Dr. Markov and save Madeline the dog. Courtesy of The Concord Consortium

Cyberlearning Tools Fuse Computational Modeling, Data Analysis to Improve Learning

August 28, 2015 11:33 am | by Aaron Dubrow, NSF | News | Comments

Back-to-school season is here and, in addition to chalkboards, desks and inspirational posters, today's students may be entering classrooms equipped with sensors, tablet computers and advanced simulation software — at least, if they are using a new cyberlearning tool called InquirySpace, which brings together a wide variety of educational technology innovations, enabling more fluid engagement in extended scientific inquiry.

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Katrina shortly after landfall. Courtesy of NOAA/NASA GOES Project

Climate Change and Hurricane Katrina: What have We Learned?

August 28, 2015 11:10 am | by Kerry Emanuel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Articles | Comments

Three weeks and three days before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans 10 years ago, a paper of mine appeared in Nature showing that North Atlantic hurricane power was strongly correlated with temperature of the tropical Atlantic during hurricane season, and that both had been increasing rapidly. Had Katrina not occurred, this paper would merely have contributed to the slowly accumulating literature on climate and hurricanes.

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GENCI will closely examine the impact and requirements of POWER’s open architecture on scientific applications, intending to foster a deeper understanding of application requirements as the computing industry advances towards exascale computing with an in

GENCI and IBM Team to Drive Supercomputing Closer to Exascale

August 28, 2015 10:10 am | by IBM | News | Comments

GENCI, the high performance computing agency in France, and IBM announced a collaboration aimed at speeding up the path to exascale computing the ability of a computing system to perform at least one exaflop, or a billion billion calculations, in one second. Currently, the fastest systems in the world perform between 10 and 33 petaflops, or 10 to 33 million billion calculations per second roughly one to three...

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Scientists have shown how the field of molecular dynamics could be a valuable tool in understanding chocolate conching. Courtesy of Pixabay CC0

Chocolate Physics: How Molecular Simulation could Improve Texture and Aromatic Sensation

August 27, 2015 3:04 pm | by Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Lecithin is an ingredient that you’ve quite possibly never heard of, but one that plays a vital role in the production of chocolate. It’s never been clear how this ingredient works on a molecular level. Scientists have shown how the field of molecular dynamics — simulation on a molecular level — could be a valuable tool in understanding the part of the chocolate-making process where aromatic sensation, texture and mouthfeel are developed.

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Because there is the potential for such a large amount of data to be collected during play, the focus on sports analytics is increasingly associated with what is referred to as big data.

Big Data can give Athletes the Winning Edge

August 27, 2015 2:30 pm | by Carmine Sellitto, Victoria University | Articles | Comments

Sport at the elite level has always adopted new technologies to capture data from players during play to better understand their performance and team’s result. Closely aligned with this is the practice of data analytics, and developments here tend to fall into two areas. One is refinement of existing technologies that measure activities. The other is data analysis tools that allow some meaning to be drawn from data collection.

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Joseph Traub spent his career at the frontiers of applied mathematics and computer science. He was known for advances in algorithmic thinking matched with emerging computational methods during the latter field’s formative period. Courtesy of Columbia Engi

Computer Science Pioneer Joseph Traub Dies at 83

August 27, 2015 12:11 pm | by Santa Fe Institute | News | Comments

Joseph Frederick Traub, a leading figure in developing the field of computational complexity, passed away August 24, 2015, in Santa Fe. At the time of his passing Traub, 83, was the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University and an external professor of the Santa Fe Institute (SFI). Traub spent his career at the frontiers of applied mathematics and computer science.

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A giant of a moon appears before a giant of a planet undergoing seasonal changes in this natural color view of Titan and Saturn from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Courtesy of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Exploring the Limits of Life in the Universe

August 27, 2015 11:42 am | by Will Ferguson, Washington State University | News | Comments

Bizarre creatures that go years without water. Others that can survive the vacuum of open space. Some of the most unusual organisms found on Earth provide insights for planetary scientist Dirk Schulze-Makuch to predict what life could be like elsewhere in the universe. NASA’s discovery last month of 500 new planets near the constellations Lyra and Cygnus, in the Milky Way Galaxy, touched off a storm of speculation about alien life.

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The maps on the left-hand side show the location and elevation of the low-lying coastal areas in south-southwest Crete (top) and in east-southeast Sicily (bottom). The ones on the right show the areas in these two locations that would be inundated in the

What would a Tsunami in the Mediterranean look Like?

August 27, 2015 11:02 am | by European Geosciences Union | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African plate slides underneath the Eurasian plate.

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NASA has been investigating features on the lunar landscape that may be "skylights," or openings to large caves below the moon’s surface. This graphic features a number of likely skylights from the Marius Hills region. Courtesy of NASA

Novel New Technology may Illuminate Mystery Caves below Moon’s Surface

August 27, 2015 10:48 am | by Brian Mattmiller, University of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

It's widely believed that the moon features networks of caves created when violent lava flows tore under the surface from ancient volcanoes. Some craters may actually be "skylights" where cave ceilings have crumbled. Since "lunar spelunking" expeditions aren't coming soon, the challenge is how to confirm the existence and dimensions of these caves with current remote imaging.

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The Light Harvesting Complex II (LHC-II) molecule, which carries out photosynthesis in plants, and an incident beam of light

High Performance Computing helps Shed Light on First Moments of Photosynthesis

August 27, 2015 10:33 am | by University of the Basque Country | News | Comments

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.

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Landsat 7 images show damage from Hurricane Katrina along the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Biloxi, MS, to the edge of Mobile, AL. Courtesy of NSF

10 Years Later, Researchers are still Gaining Insight from Hurricane Katrina Impact Data

August 27, 2015 9:59 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

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.

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A still shot of the world's first digital map of the seafloor's geology — Recent images of Pluto’s icy plains are spectacular, but the process of unveiling the hidden geological secrets of the abyssal plains of our own planet was equally full of surprises

Big Data: Mapping the Geology of the World's Ocean Floor

August 26, 2015 4:26 pm | by University of Sydney | News | Comments

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.

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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 re

When Vaccine Data doesn’t Change Minds, Directing Attention to Risks is Effective

August 26, 2015 3:53 pm | by Diana Yates, University of Illinois | News | Comments

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.

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Enzyme Close-up: Phosphofructokinase -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Image of Distinction -- Click to enlarge

Enzyme Close-up: Phosphofructokinase

August 26, 2015 2:24 pm | News | Comments

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.

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