Building a Computing Architecture for Drug Discovery

We recently had the pleasure of helping Jason Roszik and his colleagues at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in developing a high-throughput architecture supporting their work in identifying combination therapies for cancer. This work sits at the interface of some major technology, processing and clinical trends, and it was quite an eye-opener — as well as a motivation — for us on how to use Cray-developed systems and processing technologies to build a useful and productive high-throughput IT architecture. The first trend, of course, is next-generation sequencing (NGS). Costs are going down and sequencing throughput is going up dramatically, to where today’s NGS companies state they can process tens of human genomes a ... [ Read More ]

Leading the Charge for Cancer Research

Prof. Rick Stevens with Argonne National Laboratory is using deep learning to help move science closer to curing cancer.

Cancer has proven itself a formidable opponent. But every opponent has a weakness — and Rick Stevens is working to identify it, exploit it... and, ultimately, bring the disease to its knees. How? With supercomputing-powered deep learning. Prof. Stevens is an associate laboratory director at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and a principal investigator on a program that’s part of the “Cancer Moonshot” — a sweeping “all government” approach to the problem of cancer. Called the Joint Design of Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C), the program relies on team science, bringing the combined forces of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) supercomputing labs and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and its national laboratory to ... [ Read More ]

How HPC Can Help Tap the Power of Ocean Waves

“What’s amazing about ocean wave energy is the enormity of the resource sitting there,” says Ashkan Rafiee. “Whoever solves this riddle will make a huge impact on the world.” Dr. Rafiee is the hydrodynamics team leader for Carnegie Clean Energy — an Australian wave, solar and battery energy company well on its way to making wave power a reality. For the last decade, Carnegie has been developing a wave energy device that converts ocean swell into zero-emission, renewable power and desalinated freshwater. Dubbed “CETO,” the device is already in use off of Western Australia’s Garden Island, helping power the country’s largest naval base. But deploying wave energy technology at scale is another matter. “The potential is phenomenal,” says ... [ Read More ]

Data-Intensive Computing to Simulate the Brain

Understanding how the human brain works will take more than brains. Along with the planet’s smartest scientific minds, it will take never-before-achieved computing capabilities. The science and technology required to decode the human brain is a scientific final frontier …  and Professor Dr. Dirk Pleiter is on the front lines. The theoretical physics professor and research group leader at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) in Jülich, Germany, is part of the Human Brain Project (HBP), a 10-year-long European research initiative tasked with creating a working simulation of the brain. “Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest challenges facing 21st century science,” states the HBP’s report to the European Commission. “If ... [ Read More ]

“Titan” Supercomputer Helps Scientists Analyze the Atoms in a Nanoparticle

Scientists used one of the world’s most powerful electron microscopes to map the precise location and chemical type of 23,000 atoms in an extremely small particle made of iron and platinum. The Cray supercomputer “Titan” was then used to simulate the nanoparticle’s behavior. The 3-D reconstruction reveals the arrangement of atoms in unprecedented detail. Insights gained from the particle’s structure could lead to new ways to improve its magnetic performance for use in high-density, next-generation hard drives. What’s more, the technique used to create the reconstruction, atomic electron tomography (which is like an incredibly high-resolution CT scan), lays the foundation for precisely mapping the atomic composition of other useful ... [ Read More ]