Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


researchers with servers (Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com)

NIH's Biowulf gets HPC infusion

The National Institutes of Health's upgraded its Biowulf supercomputing cluster, which is used by biomedical researchers to process large numbers of simultaneous computations.

Installed by high-performance computing services provider CSRA, this second stage adds 1,104  compute nodes from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, with Intel processor and NVIDIA GPU technology; an additional 4.8 petabytes of storage from DataDirect Networks; Infiniband interconnect components from Mellanox Technologies; and Ethernet switches from Brocade Communication Systems.

Biowulf is the main computational resource at NIH's High-Performance Computation Systems group. Its Linux cluster is designed for work in genomics, image processing and  statistical analysis, as well as large-scale distributed memory tasks such as molecular dynamics.

In 2016, the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute conducted a test that pitted Biowulf against a third-party cloud to see if the cloud-based provided advantages for compute-intensive research. Though the performance on Biowulf and the cloud was similar, the cloud saved time overall, because researchers didn’t have to wait for available computing time on the shared Biowulf system.

Posted on Aug 03, 2017 at 9:08 AM0 comments


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Microsoft adds services to Azure Government Cloud

Although adding artificial intelligence to applications is easier since the public preview of Cognitive Services in Azure Government, Microsoft announced it is offering an assistance program to help agencies take advantage of the technology.

Cognitive Services are a series of machine-based language, vision, search and knowledge application programming interfaces that help developers add emotion and video detection; facial, speech and vision recognition; and speech and language understanding to applications.

The Cognitive Services White Glove Program is designed to help with visioning, development and scaling AI-enabled applications. Clients will work with experts at Microsoft and the Azure Government engineering team on designing and building apps with Cognitive Services.

The company also announced the general availability of Azure Media Analytics on Azure Government. Azure Media Analytics is a collection of speech and vision components that uses machine learning technology to improve video analysis. The available tools – which include speech-to text capabilities, motion and emotion detection, facial redaction and optical character recognition -- could help law enforcement speed the analysis of evidence collected from video surveillance, the company said.

Posted on Jul 18, 2017 at 12:02 PM0 comments


virus (Alexey Godzenko/Shutterstock.com)

DOD plans for better biosurveillance

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency wants to enhance its Biosurveillance Ecosystem so it can support a broader range of data sources as well as additional tools, algorithms and services analytics.

First developed in 2014, BSVE is a biological and chemical threat surveillance platform that lets epidemiologists scan data streams for diseases, identify warning signs of impending epidemics, share their findings and coordinate effective response strategies.

The open source, cloud-based, collaborative platform also supports the development and use of models and applications that support early warning. It features a software development kit that allows third-party developers to build applications that push and pull data from BSVE and make them available to the BSVE user community. An Analyst Workbench provides tools for data visualization, modeling and simulation, task management, report generation, hotspot maps and crowdsourcing.

DTRA wants to enhance and expand the platform so it can leverage advances in computing power and better respond to needs for new data sources and analytics. It also wants to improve BSVE's software development kit so that it can support graph-based data stores, offer a location service and provide tools for archiving, managing, integrating, querying, retrieving, exchanging and visualizing large datasets.

Read the full request for information here.

Posted on Jul 07, 2017 at 11:32 AM0 comments


california earthquake (Crystal Eye Studio/Shutterstock.com)

USGS to tweak software after false earthquake alert

The U.S. Geological Survey is making some changes to its system for updating earthquake data after a software glitch sent out an alert for a nonexistent quake on June 21.

Robert de Groot, a staff scientist with the USGS field office in Pasadena, Calif., told GCN that the software will be modified to add a human verification step to the updating process.

Last week’s alert was sent out when researchers corrected the location of a 1925 earthquake. Because the USGS database uses Unix time, which begins in 1970, the system interpreted 1925 to mean 2025, de Groot said. As a result, alerts were sent to Earthquake Notification Service subscribers.

Going forward, the system will ask the human entering the update if the information is correct before posting, and “other modifications will made down the line,” he said.

The 1925 earthquake occurred before California had the vast seismic monitoring network it does today. As a result, data on older earthquakes can have inaccuracies, which is important to correct because the information is used by the Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, which provides estimates of the magnitude, location and likelihood of fault ruptures throughout the state. These models are used to inform building codes, earthquake insurance policies, emergency plans and other risk-mitigation efforts.

Because no one can predict earthquakes, getting information about the quakes out as fast as possible will continue to be very important, de Groot said. “Even in the future, there will be events that require revisions,” he said -- so it's important to make sure such updates don't create any additional false alarms.

Posted on Jun 27, 2017 at 1:21 PM0 comments


drone view of forest (By l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock.com)

Drone finds hikers in search and rescue effort

The Douglas Count. Colo., Search and Rescue Team used a drone to find lost hikers in Pike National Forest last week.

The drone, which was a recent addition for the Colorado rescue team, helped to find the hikers in just a few hours, according to CBS 4.

Roman Bukary of the Douglas County Search and Rescue Team told said that the drone helped with planning for the effort. “Before we’re out there we can search massive areas of terrain,” he said.

In addition to being outfitted with a camera, the drone used to find the hikers has the ability to use FLIR, or forward-looking infrared technology that detects heat.

Bukary said expects the team's drones to prove more useful in search and rescue. “It is ... where search and rescue, especially in the wilderness, is headed,” he said.

Posted on Jun 19, 2017 at 11:28 AM0 comments