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August 2020 | Science Highlights, Announcements & Upcoming Events
XSEDE helps the nation's most creative minds discover breakthroughs and solutions for some of the world's greatest scientific challenges. Through free, customized access to the National Science Foundation's advanced digital resources, consulting, training, and mentorship opportunities, XSEDE enables you to Discover More. Get started here.
Science Highlights
Re-Engineering Antibodies to Find COVID-19 Relief
XSEDE resources used to explore fast-track passive immunity
With millions of COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, people are turning to antibody tests to find out whether they have been exposed to the coronavirus that causes the disease. Antibody tests look for the presence of antibodies, which are disease-specific proteins made in response to infections which grant immunity against that disease. Passive immunity is short-term immunity provided when a person is given antibodies to a disease rather than producing these antibodies through their own immune system. In lieu of a vaccine, a scientist at Catholic University of America is researching an idea to fast-track passive immunity to COVID-19 using computer simulation through re-engineering antibodies from the 2002 SARS outbreak.
Structural model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. This structural model was built with UCSF Chimera using high-performance computers (Bridges Large and Frontera). The model shows 16 viruses, with the spike proteins shown in green (PDB ID: 6VSB) and an actual lipid bilayer membrane, with ACE2 dimers shown in magenta. All these structures are at atomic resolution. The length of the membrane is approximately 1 micrometer. Credit: Victor Padilla-Sanchez, Catholic University of America.
Slower and Noisier
Unequal neutron-star mergers create unique "Bang" in XSEDE-powered simulations
It seems strange to talk about "quiet" versus "noisy" collisions of neutron stars. But many such impacts form a black hole that swallows all but the gravitational evidence. A series of simulations using XSEDE-allocated supercomputers and other systems by a Penn State scientist suggested that, when the neutron stars' masses are different enough, the result is far noisier. The model predicts an electromagnetic "bang," which isn't present when the merging stars' masses are similar, that astronomers should be able to detect.
After a neutron star is ripped apart by tidal forces from its massive companion in an unequal-mass binary neutron star merger, some of the material is ejected into space; the rest falls back to form a massive accretion disk around the black hole.
Supercomputer Simulations Show DNA Prepares Itself for Repair
XSEDE resources assist in novel microbiology discovery
It's common knowledge that the human body consists of trillions of cells. The cell nucleus, which houses DNA, is under attack every second of every day by environmental and behavioral factors. Now researchers from Harvard University and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) have used detailed simulations to show specifically how DNA molecules interact with one another as they line up in preparation for repair.
Plot of free energy used to bring two parallel DNA double helices together as a function of distance and rotation of one around the other. Credit: University of Texas Medical Branch Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Harvard University Department of Physics.
LED's Bright Early Light
XSEDE resources used to explore new solid-state lighting materials
LED lamps are lighting up the world more and more. An unmatched energy efficiency and sturdiness have made LED lights popular with consumers. Scientists are currently using supercomputers to gain insight on the crystal structure of new materials that could make LED lighting even brighter and more affordable. New properties have been found in a promising LED material for next-generation solid-state lighting. Using XSEDE resources, scientists have revealed evidence pointing to a brighter future for cubic III-nitrides in photonic and electronic devices.
Scientists are using supercomputers to gain insight on new materials that could make LED lighting even brighter and more affordable. New properties have been found in cubic III-nitrides LED materials useful for next-generation solid-state lighting.
XSEDE Allocation Expands Solar Wind Predictions
Novel model uses machine learning to better predict geomagnetic storms
While space weather can produce dancing lights here on Earth, such as the beautiful Aurora borealis and Aurora australis that sometimes streak across the northernmost and southernmost skies, geomagnetic storms can cause severe damage to power grids, satellites, and many other electrical systems. With access to an XSEDE allocation, heliophysicist Bala Poduval is predicting the solar wind conditions that cause these storms, with a recent highlight being the validation of a machine learning model that she and her colleagues developed for solar wind prediction.
NASA image of the Sun-Earth system transformed into the style of the painting Udnie by Francis Picabia (1913) using the neural style transfer tool online. Design by Andong Hu, CWI, Amsterdam.
Community Announcements
Urgent Computing
From the ongoing peril of climate change, to the pandemic raging around us, advanced computing is helping scientists and researchers combat urgent crises. Check out this recent video from the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) for a reminder of just how important the work of our community is for the greater society.
Register for CI/CS Community Workshop
Registration is now open for the inaugural Cyberinfrastructure/Cybersecurity workshop, "The Community Together," sponsored and hosted by ResearchSOC and the Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence Pilot (CI CoE Pilot). The workshop is scheduled for two separate days, August 18 and 20, and includes talks of interest to both cybersecurity and cyberinfrastructure professionals who support NSF-sponsored (and other!) research projects and facilities. For a full list of topics and to register for this free event, visit the link below.
Registration for Gateways 2020 Available Soon
Gateway developers and users—regardless of their domain area—have a lot in common but have had few venues for exchanging experiences. The fifth Gateways annual conference, to be held during the week of October 19, is an opportunity for gateway creators and enthusiasts to learn, share, connect, and shape the future of gateways as part of a vibrant community with common interests. We invite you to join us! Poster submissions are still being accepted and general registration will open in early August.
Questions? Ask at Globus Office Hours
Have you heard of Globus or are you currently using Globus to transfer and/or share files and have some questions? Globus is hosting a Globus Office Hours so you can ask questions directly and get real time answers. Learn more about Globus Connect Personal and Globus Connect Server. Mark your calendars: Globus Office Hours will be held August 27 at 3 p.m. CDT. No need to register; to join simply click the link below. 
Upcoming Dates and Deadlines