Welcome to the Spring 2018 Edition of Science Highlights.
Head Injury in the Cloud
USING CLOUD-BASED “BACKFILL CYCLES” ON BRIDGES ENABLES VERY HIGH RESOLUTION FUNCTIONAL BRAIN IMAGING
From children’s playing fields to professional stadiums to battlefields, doctors are more and more worried about brain trauma that lurks after a seemingly minor concussion.
Finding the Balance
The biggest causes of death in developed countries—heart disease, cancer, chronic organ failure—are complex conditions that may be best treated by long-term management rather than attempting to “cure” them. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have used the Bridges supercomputer at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to mine a massive database of medical records to optimize preventive doctor visits for individual patients with chronic kidney disease.
Snapping into Place
Tubulin proteins are the cell’s “Lego bricks,” connecting with themselves into tubular structures that help give living cells shape and stiffness. But the protein may also play a role in energy generation by the cell’s mitochondria, with individual tubulin “bricks” sticking to the surface of mitochondria by a poorly understood mechanism. Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and elsewhere used the Anton 2 system hosted at PSC to unravel how tubulin snaps into place—offering clues to phenomena as different as chemotherapy side effects, cancer and brain development.
Locked, not Loaded
Though AIDS survival is up and new cases are down, the HIV virus is still a major cause of sickness and death. Juan Perilla of the University of Delaware and his colleagues used the Anton 2 system at Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to understand better how HIV “matures” to its active state. They found that a class of anti-AIDS drugs may work by locking the virus in its immature form, suggesting a route toward new treatments.
You Break it, You Understand it
The U.S. Air Force would like to detect remotely when bad guys have fired a rocket. They’d also like, in an emergency, to seed the atmosphere to damp down communication disruptions from solar flares. To better understand the very different chemicals involved in these two problems, quantum chemist Peter B. Armentrout and his team at the University of Utah turned to the XSEDE supercomputers Bridges at PSC and Comet at San Diego Supercomputer Center.
PSC News in Brief
CMU Group Describes “Superhuman” Poker AI in Science
CMU, PSC and Pitt to Build Brain Data Repository
PSC-Led Flu Vaccine Research Wins International Award
PSC Wins a Record Five HPCwire Readers’, Editors’ Choice Awards