Supercomputer COVID-19 insights, ionic spiderwebs, the whiteness of AI TechCrunch – Best gaming pro

Zoom lets you nearly meet with associates, members of the family, and colleagues. With a few clicks, folks you need to see all pop up in your display, every with whom you may collaborate and even simply chat.

Distant employees typically use Zoom, however now its turning into recognized for connecting college students, households, and places of work. If in case you have by no means used Zoom earlier than, listed below are a couple of suggestions and tips to make utilizing Zoom lots simpler.

In case your workspace at dwelling isnt fairly so tidy, you may apply a background to nearly clear up the true litter. Its like being a information anchor sitting in entrance of a inexperienced display. Zooms choice of landscapes can add a bit of caprice to your conferences too.

Executives who must painting a extra skilled look when doing video calls with shoppers may even add their firms brand to be used as a background, making it seem like youre having the decision in an precise convention room at work.

The characteristic is easy to make use of, and the digital camera in your handset or pc can apply the background even when youre not sitting in entrance of a inexperienced display. Right heres how you can get began:

Step 1: Launch Zoom in your pc

Step 2: Go to the cogs button on the higher right-hand nook of your show to launch the Settings menu.

Step three: Choose Digital Background within the left menu pane.

Step four: After you try this, you may select from quite a lot of built-in background, like a scene from the seaside, a view of San Franciscos iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and even the Aurora Borealis. A reside preview will present how youll look in entrance of the background.

Step 5: To decide on your individual customized background, click on on the + icon subsequent to Select Digital Background. The choice will allow you to add your individual customized video or photograph to be used as a digital background. If in case you have a video of an aquarium, you may conduct your assembly in entrance of what would seem as a reside fish tank, for example. Should you want inspiration for some enjoyable animated backgrounds to make use of, Lightricks, the maker of in style photograph enhancing app FaceTune, has uploaded some content material to Dropbox that you should utilize.

Utilizing a reside background will reveal some artifacts across the edges, which might look uneven when youre shifting round lots throughout video calls. Moreover, digital backgrounds shouldnt be used when youre planning on demonstrating or pointing to issues together with your fingers fingers get canceled out with using digital backgrounds. The background will seem extra clean when youre sitting in entrance of a inexperienced display.

Step 6: In case your video appears slightly bizarre, it is best to attempt adjusting brightness within the video settings. Its a comparatively new characteristic in Zoom that may assist your backgrounds look slightly extra pure.

From years of expertise utilizing a pc, everyone knows in style keyboard shortcuts for copy, paste, and undo. Zoom has its personal set of in style shortcuts that aid you rapidly mute and unmute the microphone, begin or cease your digital camera, and extra. There are a variety of shortcuts you can allow and use, however listed below are among the hottest shortcuts to get you began in Zoom.

The shortcuts instructions are listed for Home windows PC customers. Mac customers will need to substitute the Apple or Command key for the Alt key above.

A full checklist of the keyboard shortcuts will be discovered by navigating to the Zoom settings menu and selecting Keyboard Shortcuts on the left pane.

You is probably not a newscaster on the night information, however youll nonetheless need to look your finest throughout your digital conferences with colleagues. A characteristic thats borrowed from the wonder mode from the selfie cameras on many in style Android smartphones, Zooms Contact Up My Look helps to clean out your pores and skin, take away the darkish luggage underneath your eyes, and aid you look your finest.

Better of all, the outcomes look pretty pure, so that you dont seem like an over-sharpened blob of pixels when considered on the screens of fellow collaborators.

Step 1: Go to Zooms settings menu

Step 2: Click on on the Video choice within the left panel

Step three: Underneath My Video, choose the choice for Contact Up My Look.

Professional tip: If in case you have the web bandwidth at dwelling, enhance your stream by additionally choosing Allow HD underneath the Video choice. Moreover, when youre assembly with a big staff, you may enhance the gallery view of your videoconferencing session by selecting Show As much as 49 Individuals Per Display screen in Gallery View. By default, Zoom solely exhibits 25 contributors per display, however you may view extra if you choose this feature and have quick sufficient web at dwelling.

If your corporation subscribes to a extra superior Zoom plan with cloud recording, you may report your assemblys audio to the cloud. Zooms A.I. will assist transcribe your assembly full with timestamps and save the transcript as a .vtt textual content file. The assembly notes will be edited, if wanted, for accuracy.

Whenever you evaluate your assembly video, theres even an choice to show the transcription instantly inside the video, making it seem like closed captioning.

Step 1: Open the Zoom net portal and sign in.

Step 2: Click on on the Recordings tab on the left-hand facet and select Cloud Recordings. Youll want a premium Zoom account to make use of this characteristic, so you could have to inquire together with your IT administrator or supervisor to see if your corporation is a subscriber.

Step three: Allow Audio Transcript underneath Cloud Recordings, and save your modifications.

Step four: Whenever you begin a gathering, youll want to hit the File button and select File to the Cloud.

Step 5: After the conclusion of the assembly, youll obtain an electronic mail alerting you that the transcript is prepared.

Although its possible youll not have entry to a projector, you may nonetheless make shows and present assembly attendees whats in your display. You can begin a display sharing by hitting the Alt+S keyboard shortcut, which is able to lower out of your webcam feed to displaying to all assembly contributors what youre seeing in your display.

That is helpful when youre attempting to indicate an essential graphics, for instance, in a gathering, or need to show a PowerPoint deck. Should youre the speaker, you may allow extra settings to offer an much more polished presentation.

Step 1: From the Zoom Settings menu, navigate to Share Display screen.

Step 2: Allow Enter Full Display screen When a Participant Shares a Display screen.

Step three: If you wish to present a video feed of the speaker together with the shared display, you can too allow Aspect-by-Aspect Mode.

Step four: Make sure you choose the Silence System Notifications When Sharing Desktop. This manner, your presentation is not going to get interrupted by all of your alerts and system chimes. Additionally, professional presenters may additionally need to allow Home windows 10s Focus Help characteristic, which is able to assist conceal notification sounds and pop-ups from the system or your electronic mail and calendar apps.

Should youre collaborating on a mission, you can too use a digital whiteboard to work collectively. When youre in a gathering, you may click on on the Display screen Share button after which select Whiteboard. After that, annotation instruments will seem, permitting you to attract and plan concepts and tasks with collaborators. Whiteboard periods will be saved as separate photographs or compiled right into a single PDF. Within the Whiteboard management, hit the Save button, and you may select the format you want. Enter an electronic mail deal with to share the saved whiteboard.

Be certain to have what youre attempting to current queued up and able to go earlier than the assembly begins. This manner, you may leap into the PowerPoint presentation, Excel spreadsheet, or net doc instantly whenever you hit the display share button.

And when youre something like me and have a cluttered desktop, use Home windows 10s Desktop characteristic to launch Zoom in a brand new, clear, clutter-free desktop area. This manner, youre not revealing any confidential recordsdata you could have saved in your desktop, and also youll additionally look extra skilled within the course of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhZW3iyXV9U

Whereas impromptu conferences are generally wanted for large modifications, when youre engaged on long-term tasks, it might be helpful to order some digital time to have common Zoom check-ins.

If in case you have common standing mission conferences, you may schedule them prematurely. This manner, everybody could have a set time and digital place to convene on a weekly foundation.

Step 1: From the Zoom homescreen, click on Schedule.

Step 2: Fill within the assembly particulars, together with time, matter, and period. You may as well set this as a Recurring assembly.

Step three: If its a confidential assembly, assign a gathering password to be shared with contributors.

Step four: Should youre creating the assembly, you may additionally need to discover the Superior Choices as effectively. This manner, you may Allow Ready Room and Allow Be part of Earlier than Host to permit attendees to affix the assembly early. An essential choice to pick out is to Mute Individuals on Entry to reduce distracting background noise.

You may as well obtain the Chrome browser extension and Microsoft Outlook extension to schedule conferences with out having to launch the Zoom app.

Helpful for managing bigger teams, breakout rooms allow you to break up a staff into smaller ones to deal with completely different areas of a giant mission concurrently. For instance, when youre engaged on a brand new product launch, you may schedule a product launch assembly, after which create breakout room for the advertising and marketing staff to provide you with a advertising and marketing plan, the finance staff to run fashions and make gross sales projections, and a 3rd room for gross sales to provide you with a gross sales technique.

As much as 50 separate breakout rooms will be created, and the host can pre-assign attendees to particular rooms. A complete of 200 contributors can be a part of between all of the rooms, and every room will perform like a stand-alone Zoom assembly. Cloud recording, nevertheless, is restricted to the principle room. Like among the extra superior Zoom options, your group will must be a subscriber to a paid plan to have this characteristic.

Step 1: Check in to the Zoom net portal.

Step 2: Click on on Settings.

Step three: Underneath the Assembly tab, ensure that the Breakout Room choice is enabled. You might also need to choose the Enable Host to Assign Individuals to Breakout Rooms When Scheduling choice as effectively to offer your assembly host the power to pre-assign you to particular room(s) earlier than the assembly begins.

In a Zoom session, the host could have entry to the Breakout Rooms of their videoconferencing menu. The host will be capable to leap between the completely different rooms to speak to the contributors.

Whichever advance options you allow in Zoom, keep in mind to at all times comply with widespread finest practices for videoconferencing to make sure all of your staff conferences run easily.

Find out how to use

Zoom additionally lets you change settings so that you simply at all times enter a gathering with a muted mic. This can be a good protocol and well mannered to different customers, since coming into with a reside mic could cause sudden noises or bursts of static that may be disruptive.

Step 1: Choose the arrow subsequent to your mic button and select Audio Settings from the pop-up menu.

Step 2: Within the Audio Settings window that opens, scroll to the underside the place you will see a number of options that may be enabled or disabled. Ensure that the choice to Mute microphone when becoming a member of a gathering is enabled.

A typical free Zoom assembly can maintain as much as 100 contributors. Nonetheless, for sure organizations or conditions this is probably not sufficient: In case your net conferencing group is bigger than 100 and you continue to need to use Zoom in your conferences, then its essential to enhance the assembly cap. There are a number of ways in which you are able to do this, relying in your circumstances and the way a lot you need to pay.

Use a faculty Zoom account: Varied faculties and universities have institutional Zoom accounts designed to facilitate on-line courses. This may often maintain as much as 300 contributors. In case you are a pupil or instructor at a college that provides these accounts, you might be able to use it in your deliberate assembly.

Improve to a small business account: These accounts price $20 per thirty days, per host, however one of many options they add is upgrading your cap to 300 contributors.

Improve to 500 contributors with the Massive Assembly add-on: This prices $50 per thirty days, per host, however you may significantly increase the variety of contributors that may be a part of. Browse all add-ons within the Billing part of your Zoom account after you sign in. You may as well improve to the Enterprise account tier to unlock this feature.

Improve to 1,000 contributors if essential: An alternate add-on lets you may have conferences with as much as 1,000 folks for notably giant occasions. This will increase the value to $90 per thirty days, per host.

Are you a future stuffed with Zoom conferences? If theyre turning into a daily characteristic in your work life and arent going away any time quickly, it is best to contemplate customizing a workspace particularly for web-conference conferences.

Zoom has a product to assist with that: the DTEN Me from Zoom for Home. Obtainable to pre-order for $599 in the USA, its a super-thin, 27-inch pc monitor that may be arrange wherever and comes with a wise digital camera array, eight microphones to choose up sound as precisely as doable, and a touchscreen with built-in whiteboarding and annotation capabilities which can be constructed to work seamlessly with Zoom.

You might also need to take a look at our information on how you can do business from home for extra concepts about how you can arrange the fitting distant workstation.

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Supercomputer COVID-19 insights, ionic spiderwebs, the whiteness of AI TechCrunch - Best gaming pro

Every Superman Movie Climax, Ranked From Worst To Best – Screen Rant

After debuting in the pages of the comic books nearly a century ago, Superman has been perhaps the most iconic superhero of all time. With that level of popularity, of course, came movies, with the classic films starring Christopher Reeve right up to the more recent films in the DCEU.

RELATED:The 10 Best Superman Movies, According To IMDb

There is a thrill to seeing a hero like Superman take on the bad guys and save the day. The climaxes of these live-action films have thrilled audiences of all ages while some of them have maybe been a bit disappointing. Looking back on each of the live-action films featuring Superman, here are the climaxes ranked from worst to best.

Superman III is often criticized for being too cartoonish and filled with slapstick humor. When looking at the film's climax, it's hard to argue with that criticism. As an evil corporate villain is trying to use a super-computer to carry out disasters around the world that will benefit him financially, Superman flies in to save the day.

RELATED:You'll Believe A Man Can Fly: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Superman (1978)

The sequence is filled with ridiculous moments, like the villain playing a video game that fires rockets at Superman. There is also a moment when the computer inexplicably turns one of the villains into a cyborg which Superman then has to fight. It was a strange way to end an already strange movie.

Christopher Reeve gives his final performance as Superman in this fourth adventure. After giving such an iconic performance in the role, it's a shamehe didn't have a better movie to end on.

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace centers around Superman's attempts to rid the world of nuclear weapons, but Lex Luthor succeeds in creating a new villain named Nuclear Man. The movie is little more than Superman and Nuclear Man chasing each other around the world and getting into dull fights. Even when they take their battle to the moon, it's not very exciting, largely due to the boring villain.

Fans had been waiting for years to see the Justice League team up in a live-action film. Though Justice League has some fun moments in it, the fact that it is overall a rather forgettable film is a massive disappointment for the DCEU.

Even the climactic battle against the villainous Steppenwolf fails to deliver much fun. There are some good character moments and action sequences, and the return of Superman is pretty thrilling. But once Superman shows up, the fight is pretty much over and it makes you wonder why the team was even necessary in the first place.

The long-awaited face-off between Batman and Superman was another big letdown for the DCEU, with many fans put off by the dark and over-plotted story. However, the movie did deliver some exciting action, including the fight between the two heroes and Batman's raid of a criminal warehouse.

RELATED:Batman V Superman: 10 Interesting Behind-The-Scenes Details

The climactic battle against Doomsday is, sadly, not as thrilling as those other sequences. There is some fun seeing Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman team up, withWonder Woman easily stealing the show. But the last-minute addition of Doomsday feels tacked on as does Superman's death at the end of the fight.

After a long hiatus from any big-screen adventures, Superman Returns sought to, well, return the character to his heroic roots in the continuation of the original Richard Donner films. Some fans found this new entrytoo reliant on nostalgia, but it does effectively show Superman at his most heroic.

After Lex Luthor creates a new island made out of Kryptonite, Superman is weakened. But with the new expanding land threatening others, Superman uses all of his strength to fly the island into space before crashing back down to Earth. It is a moment that reminds everyone of the kind of hero Superman is one who will do whatever it takes to save the day.

Though not all of the Christopher Reeve's sequels were successful, Superman II is considered by many to be an equal or possibly greater film than the original. The film sees Superman meet his match as three Kryptonian criminals, led by General Zod, arrive on Earth, and challenge the son of Jor-El.

After losing his power for a short time, Superman returns, ready to take on the challengers. The exciting fight begins in the skies over Metropolis before heading to the Fortress of Solitude. Though the action might not be as fast-paced as modern superhero movies, it's a fun and clever battle with villains who are Superman's equals.

Superman took on Zod once again in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. Zod comes to Earth seeking out Superman as an ally. Hehopes to transform the planet into a new Kryptonian home, but it means the death of the human race. Obviously, Superman will not stand for that.

RELATED:10 Actors Who Were Almost Cast As Superman Villains

The massive destruction of the battle drew criticism, but it feels like it carries consequences in the later films. Snyder does shape some pretty thrilling fight sequences and the moment when Superman is forced to kill Zod, while controversial, was as an interesting new path to take the iconic hero.

While there are plenty of fans of Snyder's version of Superman, many feel that this darker version of was missing the fundamental hero component of his character. It is not just that he is a godlike being, he is capable of saving lives and is a beacon of good around the world.

The original Superman movie really embraced this aspect of the character, especially in the climax. After Luthor generates an earthquake that threatens the entire West Coast, Superman flies around saving school buses from bridges and trains filled with passengers. And when he finds the quake killed Lois Lane, he flies around the world as fast as he can and reverses time to save her. It's ridiculous, but it's the kind of feel-good heroics the character has always embodied.

NEXT:Superman: 10 Best TV & Film Costumes, Ranked

Next The Simpsons: 10 Funniest Bart Simpson Memes That Make Us Laugh

A writer and film fan. I always enjoy keeping up with the latest films in theaters as well as discovering some hidden gems I may have overlooked. Glad to be a part of Screen Rant's positive and fun community and have the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

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Every Superman Movie Climax, Ranked From Worst To Best - Screen Rant

Atos Partners with University of Oxford on Largest AI Supercomputer in the UK – HPCwire

PARIS and LONDON, Aug. 4, 2020 Atos has signed a four-year contract worth 5 million with the University of Oxford to deliver a new, state of the art, deep learning supercomputer built on the NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD architecture, which will enable UK academics and industry to drive forward scientific discoveries and innovation in machine learning and artificial intelligence, as part of the JADE2 project.

The largest AI-focused supercomputer in the UK with over 500 NVIDIA GPUs, this high-performance system is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC),and aims to build on the success of the current JADE1(Joint Academic Data Science Endeavour)facility a national resource providing advanced GPU computing facilities to world-leading AI and machine learning experts from a consortium of eight UK universities and the Alan Turing Institute.

The JADE2 supercomputer is built on NVIDIA DGX systems, and uses the DDN A3I storage solution. It will more than triple the capacity of the originalJADEmachine and provide increased computing capabilities to a wider consortium of over twenty universities and the Turing Institute, helping to meet the level of demand for AI-focused facilities created as a result of the success of the JADE resource.

Professor Wes Armour at the University of Oxfordsaid:The successful delivery of JADE has created more demand among UK researchers and industry for powerful computing facilities which can accommodate high end, data intensive AI workloads.Building on the success of the JADE collaboration with Atos, and by significantly expanding the JADE consortiums computing capacity, the new Deep Learning supercomputer supplied by Atos will allow us to meet this demand and help many institutions to make some potentially ground-breaking discoveries. It will cement JADEs status as the de facto national computing facility for academic AI research.

Alison Kennedy, Director, STFC Hartree Centresaid:We are pleased that the delivery and hosting of this cutting-edge JADE-2 hardware and the resultant increase in capability will support the development and expansion of research computing skills across industry and academia. This aligns directly with the Hartree Centres mission and we are delighted to continue the collaboration with Atos and Oxford University which builds upon the previous success of JADE.

Agns Boudot,Senior Vice President, Head of HPC & Quantumat Atos,concluded:We are proud to be working with the University of Oxford on the delivery of JADE2, which will provide researchers and industry with more computing power to enable new scientific breakthroughs and innovation in machine learning and AI. We believe this high-performance system, coupled with our expertise, will help the UK to address key AI and machine learning challenges, while supporting the UKs ambition to be a world-leader in these areas.

The DGX SuperPOD system will comprise a cluster of 63 DGX nodes, having 504 NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPUs in total, interconnected with NVIDIA Mellanox InfiniBand networking, all being fed by DDNs AI400 storage, making it the largest such system in the UK.

The system is to be hosted at theSTFC Hartree Centrein Daresbury, near Warrington, UK.

1JADE Joint Academic Data science Endeavour. This proposal, led by the University of Oxford, with support from the Alan Turing Institute (ATI), and 22 universities, is the national GPU system supporting multidisciplinary science with a focus on machine learning and molecular dynamics.

About Atos

Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with 110,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of 12 billion. European number one in Cloud, Cybersecurity and High-Performance Computing, the Group provides end-to-end Orchestrated Hybrid Cloud, Big Data, Business Applications and Digital Workplace solutions. The Group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and operates under the brands Atos, Atos|Syntel, and Unify. Atos is a SE (Societas Europaea), listed on the CAC40 Paris stock index.

Source: Atos

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Atos Partners with University of Oxford on Largest AI Supercomputer in the UK - HPCwire

Break it down: A new way to address common computing problem – Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom

In this era of big data, there are some problems in scientific computing that are so large, so complex and contain so much information that attempting to solve them would be too big of a task for most computers.

Now, researchers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a new algorithm for solving a common class of problem known as linear inverse problems by breaking them down into smaller tasks, each of which can be solved in parallel on standard computers.

The research, from the lab of Jr-Shin Li, professor in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering, was published July 30 in the journal Scientific Reports.

In addition to providing a framework for solving this class of problems, the approach, called Parallel Residual Projection (PRP), also delivers enhanced security and mitigates privacy concerns.

Linear inverse problems are those that attempt to take observational data and try to find a model that describes it. In their simplest form, they may look familiar: 2x+y = 1, x-y = 3. Many a high school student has solved for x and y without the help of a supercomputer.

And as more researchers in different fields collect increasing amounts of data in order to gain deeper insights, these equations continue to grow in size and complexity.

We developed a computational framework to solve for the case when there are thousands or millions of such equations and variables, Li said.

This project was conceived while working on research problems from other fields involving big data. Lis lab had been working with a biologist researching the network of neurons that deal with the sleep-wake cycle.

In the context of network inference, looking at a network of neurons, the inverse problem looks like this, said Vignesh Narayanan, a research associate in Lis lab:

Given the data recorded from a bunch of neurons, what is the model that describes how these neurons are connected with each other?

In an earlier work from our lab, we showed that this inference problem can be formulated as a linear inverse problem, Narayanan said.

If the system has a few hundred nodes in this case, the nodes are the neurons the matrix which describes the interaction among neurons could be millions by millions; thats huge.

Storing this matrix itself exceeds the memory of a common desktop, said Wei Miao, a PhD student in Lis lab.

Add to that the fact that such complex systems are often dynamic, as is our understanding of them. Say we already have a solution, but now I want to consider interaction of some additional cells, Miao said. Instead of starting a new problem and solving it from scratch, PRP adds flexibility and scalability. You can manipulate the problem any way you want.

Even if you do happen to have a supercomputer, Miao said, There is still a chance that by breaking down the big problem, you can solve it faster.

In addition to breaking down a complex problem and solving in parallel on different machines, the computational framework also, importantly, consolidates results and computes an accurate solution to the initial problem.

An unintentional benefit of PRP is enhanced data security and privacy. When credit card companies use algorithms to research fraud, or a hospital wants to analyze its massive database, No one wants to give all of that access to one individual, Narayanan said.

This was an extra benefit that we didnt even strive for, Narayanan said.

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Break it down: A new way to address common computing problem - Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom

Five Movies Worth Watching About the Threat of Nuclear War – Council on Foreign Relations

Yesterday marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. This Sunday marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the bombing on Nagasaki. Thankfully, nuclear weapons have never been used since. However, nuclear war remains an ever-present danger. Nine countries currentlypossess nuclear weapons, and several others potentiallyaspire to acquire them. TheBulletin of Atomic Scientistshas its famed Doomsday Clock set to100 seconds before midnight, the closest it has ever been to the twelve oclock hour. So it seems appropriate this week to recommend films that remind us of the threat we prefer to forget.

We wont rehashall the ruleswe follow in making recommendations. Just remember that we recommend a movieonly once. SoDr. Strangeloveisnt on this weeks list because it was on our list offive foreign-policy satires worth watching.

More on:

Nuclear Weapons

Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament

Wars and Conflict

Here are our five recommendations, plus bonus picks from two colleagues.

The Water's Edge

Crimson Tide(1995). The submarine USSAlabamaheads to sea after rebels seize nuclear missile sites in eastern Russia. While on patrol, the submarine receives part of a command that mayor may notbe an order to launch its nuclear missiles against the rebel-controlled sites. TheAlabamascaptain and its executive officer (XO) clash over whether to proceed with the attack or wait for additional information. Convinced that the combat-tested captain, played byGene Hackman, is too eager to act, the cautious, young XO, played byDenzel Washington, stages a mutiny. The fate of the world hangs in the balance. DirectorTony Scottleverages the submarines close quarters tohighlightthe isolation and tension of the crew. WatchingCrimson Tideis even more anxiety-inducing if you know that the plot isnt far-fetched. During the Cuban missile crisis,commanders aboard a Soviet submarine clashedover whether to fire their vessels nuclear-armed torpedo after they lost contact with Moscow. Perhaps as Washingtons character contends, in the nuclear world, the true enemy is war itself. You can watchCrimson TideonAmazon Prime,Google Play, orYouTube.

Miracle Mile(1988).Miracle Milebegins as a standard romance: Harry (Anthony Edwards) meets Julie (Mare Winningham) at a caf, and its love at first sight. The cheery start turns sour when Harry accidentally receives a panicked phone call warning of an imminent nuclear attack. He has one hour to find Julie and flee to safety.Miracle Milewas released at the tail end of the Cold War, when duck-and-cover drills had faded from U.S. schools but latentfears of a nuclear attackpersisted. DirectorSteve De Jarnettheightens the audiences anxiety by never cutting away from Harrys perspective: You are Harry Washello, De Jarnett said. These days, a warning about an incoming nuclear attack is less likely to come through a pay phone than through our smart phones, as people in Hawaiilearned two years ago. Thankfully, that early-morning emergency warning was a mistake. You can watchMiracle MileonAmazon PrimeoriTunes.

On the Beach(1959). How would you spend your last days if you knew the world was ending? This is the question that drivesOn the Beach, an adaptation of Nevil Shutes 1957best-selling novel. A nuclear war has devastated the Northern Hemisphere, leaving Australia as the worlds only safe haven. As deadly radioactive fallout steadily drifts toward the continent, many survivors resign themselves to their fate. But when a radio signal is detected coming from the rubble of the west coast of the United States, the nuclear submarineUSSSawfishheads off to discover its sourceand a possible reason for hope. Looking to stress the films universal theme and capitalize on the star power of its castwhich includesGregory Peck,Ava Gardner, andFred AstairedirectorStanley Kramerscheduled the movies premiere on the same day ineighteen different citiesacross the world, including Moscow. You can findOn the Beachon theDigital ArchiveoriTunes.

Thirteen Days(2000). For thirteen days in 1962, the world stood at the brink of nuclear war as the United States and Soviet Union faced off in theCuban missile crisis.Thirteen Daysdramatizes the view from inside the Kennedy administration after the discovery that the Soviets were deploying medium-range nuclear missiles just ninety miles off the U.S. coast. We know how the crisis ends. Still,Bruce Greenwoodas President John F. Kennedy andKevin Costneras advisor Kenneth ODonnell convey the intense anxiety of those thirteen days as they desperately search for a peaceful solution while trying to maintain the upper hand against the Soviets. DirectorRoger Donaldsontakes a fewliberties with history, but University of Virginia professor Philip Zekilow observed that the film is accurate where it counts. You can watchThirteen DaysonAmazon Prime,Google Play, orYouTube.

More on:

Nuclear Weapons

Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament

Wars and Conflict

WarGames(1983). A youngMatthew Broderickplays teenager David Lightman, a technology whiz who nearly sparks World War III when he hacks into a computer network and begins playing an interactive game. Ominously titled Global Thermonuclear War, it is actually a program running on a U.S. military supercomputer. The program thinks David is the Soviet Union preparing to launch a nuclear attack, so it tries to strike first. DirectorJohn Badhamuses lighthearted humor to explore the deadly serious concept of mutual assured destruction as the teen tries to stop the United States from retaliating against a false threat.WarGamespremiered the heroic hacker archetype andinspired a generationof budding techies. After seeing the movie at Camp David, President Ronald Reagangrew concernedthat a similar hack could happen in real life. That led him to issue the first national security directive on computer security. You can watchWarGamesonAmazon Prime,Google Play, orYouTube.

For bonus picks this week, we turned to CFRs two visitingStanton Nuclear Security Fellows,Jooeun KimandJoseph Torigian. Jooeun, who specializes in nuclear nonproliferation in East Asia, recommends:

Fail Safe(1964). When a communications system error sends U.S. bombers with nuclear payloads to attack Moscow, the president of the United States (Henry Fonda) scrambles to prevent doomsday.Fail Safesshowing at the box office washurtby the release just ten months earlier ofDr. Strangelove, which had a similar plot but with a satiric edge. (Stanley Kubrick,Dr. Strangeloves director,suedthe producers ofFail Safefor plagiarism and won an agreement that delayed its release.) DirectorSidney Lumetdistinguishes his drama, however, with thehumanity of its charactersand anarguably smarter takeon how a nuclear war might start. Jooeun says: Fail Safeis a somber reminder of how machines can fail and cause nuclear accidents. It also reminds us how rational decision-making by the commander-in-chief is so important in stopping a nuclear war and gaining trust even from an adversary. The depiction of the political scientist in the movie reminds me personally that scholarly and theoretical contributions to nuclear nonproliferation are important, but in the war room it is practical application that matters most. You can findFail SafeonAmazon Prime,Google Play, orYouTube.

Joseph, who works on Chinese and Russian foreign policy, suggests:

Colossus: The Forbin Project(1970). Hoping to avoid any human error that could lead to war, the United States entrusts its nuclear arsenal to a new supercomputer: Colossus. In appropriate science-fiction fashion, the artificial intelligence (AI) soon outsmarts its creators and connects to a similar electronic brain built in the Soviet Union. The AIs threaten both countries with nuclear war if scientists interfere in their pursuit of world dominationall in the name of peace. The film is based on the 1967 novelColossusby D. F. Jones and directed byJoseph Sargent. Joseph says: Although less well-known thanDr. Strangelove,Colossus: The Forbin Projectis another classic satire on nuclear war with a similarly negative view of humanity's future. WhileDr.Strangelovecaptured the essence of mutually assured destruction, the focus inColossuson out of control AI makes it an especially prescient warning for today's world. You can watchColossus: The Forbin ProjectonHoopla,Vimeo, orXfinity Stream.

Next week we will recommend World War II films worth watching.

Check out our other foreign-policy movie recommendations:

Originally posted here:

Five Movies Worth Watching About the Threat of Nuclear War - Council on Foreign Relations

GE Research uses summit supercomputer for study on wind power – Windtech International

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GE Research uses summit supercomputer for study on wind power - Windtech International

Research: A Survey of Numerical Methods Utilizing Mixed Precision Arithmetic – HPCwire

Within the past years, hardware vendors have started designing low precision special function units in response to the demand of the machine learning community and their demand for high compute power in low precision formats. Also, server-line products are increasingly featuring low-precision special function units, such as the Nvidia tensor cores in the Oak Ridge National Laboratorys Summit supercomputer, providing more than an order of magnitude of higher performance than what is available in IEEE double precision.

At the same time, the gap between the compute power on the one hand and the memory bandwidth on the other hand keeps increasing, making data access and communication prohibitively expensive compared to arithmetic operations. Having the choice between ignoring the hardware trends and continuing the traditional path, and adjusting the software stack to the changing hardware designs, the Department of Energys Exascale Computing Project decided for the aggressive step of building a multiprecision focus effort to take on the challenge of designing and engineering novel algorithms exploiting the compute power available in low precision and adjusting the communication format to the application-specific needs.

To start the multiprecision focus effort, we have written a survey of the numerical linear algebra community and summarized all existing multiprecision knowledge, expertise, and software capabilities in this landscape analysis report. We also include current efforts and preliminary results that may not yet be considered mature technology, but have the potential to grow into production quality within the multiprecision focus effort. As we expect the reader to be familiar with the basics of numerical linear algebra, we refrain from providing a detailed background on the algorithms themselves but focus on how mixed- and multiprecision technology can help to improve the performance of these methods and present highlights of application significantly outperforming the traditional fixed precision methods.

This report covers low precision BLAS operations, solving systems of linear systems, least squares problems, eigenvalue computations using mixed precision. These are demonstrated with dense and sparse matrix computations and direct and iterative methods. The ideas presented try to exploit low precision computations for the bulk of the compute time and then use mathematical techniques to enhance the accuracy of the solution to bring it to full precision accuracy with less time to solution.

On modern architectures, the performance of 32-bit operations is often at least twice as fast as the performance of 64-bit operations. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, a 32-bit floating point arithmetic rate of execution is usually twice as fast as a 64-bit floating point arithmetic on most modern processors. Secondly, the number of bytes moved through the memory system is halved. It may be possible to care out the computation in lower precision, say 16-bit operations.

One approach exploiting the compute power in low precision is motivated by the observation that in many cases, a single precision solution of a problem can be refined to the point where double precision accuracy is achieved. The refinement can be accomplished, for instance, by means of the Newtons algorithm (see Equation (1)) which computes the zero of a function f (x) according to the iterative formula:

In general, we would compute a starting point and f (x) in single precision arithmetic, and the refinement process will be computed in double precision arithmetic. If the refinement process is cheaper than the initial computation of the solution, then double precision accuracy can be achieved nearly at the same speed as the single precision accuracy.

Stunning results can be achieved. In Figure 1, we are comparing the solution of a general system of linear equations using a dense solver on an Nvidia V100 GPU comparing the performance for 64-, 32-, and 16-bit floating point operations for the factorization and then using refinement techniques to improve the solution for the 32- and 16-bit solution to what was achieved using 64-bit factorization.

The survey report presents much more detail on the methods and approaches using these techniques, see https://www.icl.utk.edu/files/publications/2020/icl-utk-1392-2020.pdf.

Author Bio Hartwig Anzt

Hartwig Anzt is a Helmholtz-Young-Investigator Group leader at the Steinbuch Centre for Computing at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). He obtained his PhD in Mathematics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and afterwards joined Jack Dongarras Innovative Computing Lab at the University of Tennessee in 2013. Since 2015 he also holds a Senior Research Scientist position at the University of Tennessee. Hartwig Anzt has a strong background in numerical mathematics, specializes in iterative methods and preconditioning techniques for the next generation hardware architectures. His Helmholtz group on Fixed-point methods for numerics at Exascale (FiNE) is granted funding until 2022. Hartwig Anzt has a long track record of high-quality software development. He is author of the MAGMA-sparse open source software package managing lead and developer of the Ginkgo numerical linear algebra library, and part of the US Exascale computing project delivering production-ready numerical linear algebra libraries.

Author Bio Jack Dongarra

Jack Dongarra received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Chicago State University in 1972 and a Master of Science in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1973. He received his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of New Mexico in 1980. He worked at the Argonne National Laboratory until 1989, becoming a senior scientist.He now holds an appointment as University Distinguished Professor of Computer Science in the Computer Science Department at the University of Tennessee, has the position of a Distinguished Research Staff member in the Computer Science and Mathematics Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Turing Fellow in the Computer Science and Mathematics Schools at the University of Manchester, and an Adjunct Professor in the Computer Science Department at Rice University.

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Research: A Survey of Numerical Methods Utilizing Mixed Precision Arithmetic - HPCwire

Atos signs 5m supercomputing deal to support Oxford University-led AI research push – ComputerWeekly.com

Oxford University is expanding its artificial intelligence (AI)-focused supercomputing capabilities with the help of Atos, after signing a four-year, 5m contract with the French IT services company.

The deal will see Atos provide the university with access to a deep-learning supercomputer, based on Nvidias DGX SuperPOD architecture, which will be used by the UK academic community to accelerate research into AI, machine learning and molecular dynamics.

The setup, once deployed, will be the largest AI-focused supercomputer in the UK, it is claimed, with 500 Nvidia-based graphics processing units (GPUs).

The deployment is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and will be the second supercomputer of its kind to be deployed under the universitys ongoing Joint Academic Data science Endeavour (JADE) project.

The first phase of the JADE project saw the university pool resources with a consortium of eight other universities, and the data science research-focused organisation, the Alan Turing Institute, to create a supercomputing facility.

The second phase of the project is being supported by an additional 14 universities, and is designed to build on the success of the first by tripling the amount of supercomputing capacity made available to these organisations.

The JADE facility has provided a nucleus around which a national consortium of AI researchers has formed, making it the de facto national compute facility for AI research, said a posting on the EPSRC website. By providing a much-needed shared resource to these communities, JADE has also delivered an outstanding level of world-leading science.

JADE2 will build upon these successes by providing increased computational capabilities to these communities and delivering a stronger, more robust service to address the lessons learned from the initial service.

Wes Armour, a professor at the university, said the success of the first phase of JADE had led to increased demand from UK researchers for access to supercomputing capabilities, which is why JADE2 is needed.

Building on the success of the JADE collaboration with Atos, and by significantly expanding the JADE consortiums computing capacity, the new deep learning supercomputer supplied by Atos will allow us to meet this demand and help many institutions to make some potentially ground-breaking discoveries, said Armour.

It will cement JADEs status as the de facto national computing facility for academic AI research.

Agns Boudot,senior vice-president and head of high-performance computing and quantumat Atos,said the system which will be hosted at a specialist facility in Daresbury, Warrington will support the UK in its bid to become a world leader in the field of AI and machine learning.

We are proud to be working with the University of Oxford on the delivery of JADE2, which will provide researchers and industry with more computing power to enable new scientific breakthroughs and innovation in machine learning and AI, said Boudot.

We believe this high-performance system, coupled with our expertise, will help the UK to address key AI and machine learning challenges, while supporting the UKs ambition to be a world leader in these areas.

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Atos signs 5m supercomputing deal to support Oxford University-led AI research push - ComputerWeekly.com

Atos partners with University of Oxford on largest AI supercomputer in the UK – Yahoo Finance

Paris and London, 4 August 2020 Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, has signed a four-year contract worth 5 million with the University of Oxford to deliver a new, state of the art, deep learning supercomputer built on the NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD architecture, which will enable UK academics and industry to drive forward scientific discoveries and innovation in machine learning and artificial intelligence, as part of the JADE2 project.

The largest AI-focused supercomputer in the UK with over 500 NVIDIA GPUs, this high-performance system is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC),and aims to build on the success of the current JADE1 (Joint Academic Data Science Endeavour)facility - a national resource providing advanced GPU computing facilities to world-leading AI and machine learning experts from a consortium of eight UK universities and the Alan Turing Institute.

The JADE2 supercomputer is built on NVIDIA DGX systems, and uses the DDN A3I storage solution. It will more than triple the capacity of the original JADE machine and provide increased computing capabilities to a wider consortium of over twenty universities and the Turing Institute, helping to meet the level of demand for AI-focused facilities created as a result of the success of the JADE resource.

Professor Wes Armour at the University of Oxfordsaid: The successful delivery of JADE has created more demand among UK researchers and industry for powerful computing facilities which can accommodate high end, data intensive AI workloads. Building on the success of the JADE collaboration with Atos, and by significantly expanding the JADE consortiums computing capacity, the new Deep Learning supercomputer supplied by Atos will allow us to meet this demand and help many institutions to make some potentially ground-breaking discoveries. It will cement JADEs status as the de facto national computing facility for academic AI research.

Alison Kennedy, Director, STFC Hartree Centre said: We are pleased that the delivery and hosting of this cutting-edge JADE-2 hardware and the resultant increase in capability will support the development and expansion of research computing skills across industry and academia. This aligns directly with the Hartree Centres mission and we are delighted to continue the collaboration with Atos and Oxford University which builds upon the previous success of JADE.

Agns Boudot, Senior Vice President, Head of HPC & Quantum at Atos,concluded:We are proud to be working with the University of Oxford on the delivery of JADE2, which will provide researchers and industry with more computing power to enable new scientific breakthroughs and innovation in machine learning and AI. We believe this high-performance system, coupled with our expertise, will help the UK to address key AI and machine learning challenges, while supporting the UKs ambition to be a world-leader in these areas.

The DGX SuperPOD system will comprise a cluster of 63 DGX nodes, having 504 NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs in total, interconnected with NVIDIA Mellanox InfiniBand networking, all being fed by DDNs AI400 storage, making it the largest such system in the UK.

The system is to be hosted at theSTFC Hartree Centrein Daresbury, near Warrington, UK.

1JADE - Joint Academic Data science Endeavour. This proposal, led by the University of Oxford, with support from the Alan Turing Institute (ATI), and 22 universities, is the national GPU system supporting multidisciplinary science with a focus on machine learning and molecular dynamics.

###

About AtosAtos is a global leader in digital transformation with 110,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of 12 billion. European number one in Cloud, Cybersecurity and High-Performance Computing, the Group provides end-to-end Orchestrated Hybrid Cloud, Big Data, Business Applications and Digital Workplace solutions. The Group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and operates under the brands Atos, Atos|Syntel, and Unify. Atos is a SE (Societas Europaea), listed on the CAC40 Paris stock index.

The purpose of Atos is to help design the future of the information space. Its expertise and services support the development of knowledge, education and research in a multicultural approach and contribute to the development of scientific and technological excellence. Across the world, the Group enables its customers and employees, and members of societies at large to live, work and develop sustainably, in a safe and secure information space.

Press contacts:

Global: Laura Fau |laura.fau@atos.net| +33 6 73 64 04 18 |@laurajanefau

UK: Helena Shadbolt helena.shadbolt@mhpc.com +44 (0)20 3128 8799, nick.collins@mhpc.com +44 (0)20 3128 8897

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Atos partners with University of Oxford on largest AI supercomputer in the UK - Yahoo Finance

How coronavirus antibody testing works – Livemint

Antibody tests look for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections. Antibodies are disease specific. For example, measles antibodies will protect you from getting measles if you are exposed to it again, but they won't protect you from getting mumps if you are exposed to mumps.

"Antibodies are important because they prevent infection and heal patients affected by diseases," said Victor Padilla-Sanchez, a researcher at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.

"If we have antibodies, we are immune to disease, as long as they are in your system, you are protected. If you don't have antibodies, then infection proceeds and the pandemic continues," added Sanchez.

This form of foreign-antibody-based protection is called passive immunity -- short-term immunity provided when a person is given antibodies to a disease rather than producing these antibodies through their own immune system.

"We're at the initial steps of this now, and this is where I'm hoping my work might help," Padilla-Sanchez said.

Padilla-Sanchez specializes in viruses. Specifically, he uses computer models to understand the structure of viruses on the molecular level and uses this information to try to figure out how the virus functions.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was the first new infectious disease identified in the 21st century. This respiratory illness originated in the Guangdong province of China in November 2002. The World Health Organization identified this new coronavirus (SARS-CoV) as the agent that caused the outbreak.

Now we're in the middle of yet another new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which emerged in Wuhan, China in 2019. COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, has become a rapidly spreading pandemic that has reached most countries in the world. As of July 2020, COVID-19 has infected more than 15.5 million people worldwide with more than 630,000 deaths.

To date, there are not any vaccines or therapeutics to fight the illness.

Since both illnesses (SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2) share the same spike protein, the entry key that allows the virus into the human cells, Padilla-Sanchez's idea was to take the antibodies found in the first outbreak in 2002 -- 80R and m396 -- and reengineer them to fit the current COVID-19 virus.

A June 2020 study in the online journal, Research Ideas and Outcomes, describes efforts by Padilla-Sanchez to unravel this problem using computer simulation. He discovered that sequence differences prevent 80R and m396 from binding to COVID-19.

"Understanding why 80R and m396 did not bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein could pave the way to engineering new antibodies that are effective," Padilla-Sanchez said. "Mutated versions of the 80r and m396 antibodies can be produced and administered as a therapeutic to fight the disease and prevent infection."

His docking experiments showed that amino acid substitutions in 80R and m396 should increase binding interactions between the antibodies and SARS-CoV-2, providing new antibodies to neutralize the virus.

"Now, I need to prove it in the lab," he said.

For his research, Padilla-Sanchez relied on supercomputing resources allocated through the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). XSEDE is a single virtual system funded by the National Science Foundation used by scientists to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise.

The XSEDE-allocated Stampede2 and Bridges systems at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center supported the docking experiments, macromolecular assemblies, and large-scale analysis and visualization.

"XSEDE resources were essential to this research," Padilla-Sanchez said.

He ran the docking experiments on Stampede2 using the Rosetta software suite, which includes algorithms for computational modeling and analysis of protein structures. The software virtually binds the proteins then provides a score for each binding experiment.

"If you find a good docking position, then you can recommend that this new, mutated antibody should go to production," said Sanchez.

TACC's Frontera supercomputer, the 8th most powerful supercomputer in the world and the fastest supercomputer on a university campus, also provided vital help to Padilla-Sanchez. He used the Chimera software on Frontera to generate extremely high-resolution visualizations. From there, he transferred the work to Bridges because of its large memory nodes.

"Frontera has great performance when importing a lot of big data. We're usually able to look at just protein interactions, but with Frontera and Bridges, we were able to study full infection processes in the computer," he said. Padilla-Sanchez's findings will be tested in a wet lab. Upon successful completion of that stage, his work can proceed to human trials.

Currently, various labs across the world are already testing vaccines.

"If we don't find a vaccine in the near term we still have passive immunity, which can prevent infection for several months as long as you have the antibodies," Padilla-Sanchez said. "Of course, a vaccine is the best outcome. However, passive immunity may be a fast track in providing relief for the pandemic," said Padilla-Sanchez.

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How coronavirus antibody testing works - Livemint

Researchers Use Supercomputers To Discover New Pathway For Covid-19 Inflammation – Forbes

Covid-19 is challenging to treat. Researchshowsthat there can be six distinct "types" of the disease involving different clusters of symptoms. The coronavirus can infect different organs of the body leading to a variety of symptoms. While pharmaceutical companies are working on a vaccine, a team of scientists led by Dan Jacobson at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been working to understand the systems biology of the virus using data analytic, and explainable AI tools on ORNL's Summit supercomputer. Recently, theypublisheda paper on a mechanistic model for Covid-19 that can lead to more targeted therapeutic interventions for patients.

Severely ill Covid-19 patients often end up on a ventilator as their lungs are unable to take in enough oxygen. Analyzing gene expression data, these researchers took a holistic approach to the study using Systems Biology frameworks. By understanding the body's underlying mechanisms and how they respond to the coronavirus, severe symptoms of Covid-19 can be explained. If the team's mechanistic model is proven to be accurate, then time and money can be saved by repurposing existing FDA approved drugs to treat severe cases of Covid-19.

Jacobson says, "We are systems biologists, and so this is how we view the world, and we're trying to understand holistically all the molecular interactions that are happening in cells that lead to phenotypic outcomes, whether those outcomes are diseases or other traits. Our understanding of complex processes focuses on looking at all these omics layers, from genome to gene, protein or metabolite expression from a population as well as the microbiome and how that's all conditional on environment. And, overall, that is what we are doing for Covid-19 as really a holistic systems-based approach."

Analyzing the gene expressions of infected individuals against a control group as well as population-scale data, researchers used the Summit and Rhea supercomputers, housed at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at ORNL, to discover that the bradykinin system may be responsible for much of the viral pathogenesis. Bradykinin is a peptide that helps to manage blood pressure and can promote inflammation. When more of it is present, it can dilate blood vessels and makes them permeable. If produced excessively, it causes blood vessels to leak and thus leads to a fluid buildup in the surrounding tissues.

Jacobson says, "What we've found is that the imbalance in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) pathway that appeared to be present in Covid-19 patients could be responsible for constantly resensitizing bradykinin receptors. So, this imbalance in the RAS pathways will take the brakes off the bottom of the bradykinin pathway at the receptor level. In addition, the downregulation of the ACE gene in Covid-19 patients, which usually degrades bradykinin, is another key imbalance in the regulation of bradykinin levels. We have also observed that the key negative regulator at the top of the bradykinin pathway is dramatically down-regulated. Thus, you likely have an increase in bradykin production as well, stopping many of the braking mechanisms usually in place, so the bradykinin signal spirals out of control. "

Using the Summit to run 2.5 billion correlation calculations, the team found gene expression changes that would likely trigger the production of bradykinin. It decreased the expression of enzymes that can break down bradykinin or change how it perceived by cell-surface receptors. Such an escalating buildup of bradykinin would cause blood vessels to leak.

Jacobson says, "It could affect other organs in this way as well. There is a broad range of symptoms being observed across the patient population. For example, if you have a lot of fluid leaking out of the blood vessels in your brain, this could tend to lead to many of the neurological symptoms

A normal blood vessel, shown at top, is compared with a blood vessel affected by excess bradykinin. ... [+] A hyperactive bradykinin system permits fluid, shown in yellow, to leak out and allows immune cells, shown in purple, to squeeze their way out of blood vessels.

The research team also examined the relationship between vitamin D binding sites and the genes in the RAS-bradykinin pathways. Vitamin D helps to regulate the RAS pathway. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with severe cases of COVID-19. Clinical, pharmaceutical, and research partners are needed to understand Vitamin D's role in treatment.

Jacobson says, "The vitamin D link was an interesting one that affects the very early steps of the RAS pathway. It is simply one component involved in a complex system, and we're probably going to have to target multiple treatments across the entire system to break the cascade. One single intervention alone is probably not going to solve it. But if we can understand all the different components and target those collectively, I think we have a better shot at it."

Another potential therapeutic development path is to repurpose existing FDA approved drugs such as Danazol, Stanasolol, Icatibant, Ecallantide, Berinert, Cynryze, Haegarda, etc.. to reduce the amount of bradykinin signaling to prevent the escalation of the bradykinin storm. Partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and clinical research are needed to design and implement the right clinical trials to see how these types of treatments can be applied.

Jacobson says, "In other work, we are also looking at the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself from a systems biology perspective and think that attempts to inhibit the virus itself will also probably require a combinatorial strategy. It's probably unlikely that there will be a single solution but instead, there will need to be a collection of therapies, similar to what's been done with HIV. We will probably need to have a cocktail of different drugs to help contain the virus. So, it's possible that we will need a combinatorial approach to therapies both on the human side and on the viral side."

Dan's team at ORNL has been consciously building explainable-AI tools for applications across many research areas. Coupled with the Summit supercomputer, Dan's team can examine gene expression data at a much larger scale in a fraction of the time it would take on a desktop computer. One of the difficulties of large-scale gene expression research is that often associations must be generated across a large population of people and tissues. It takes significant computing power and the integration of results from other existing research to make sense of the data. They examined 17,000 different samples of people and their organ tissues to understand the normal gene expression patterns involved in uninfected individuals.

IBM's Summit Supercomputer at ORNL

Jacobson says, "There was a Sunday afternoon eureka moment just staring at the data in the context of different pathways. We've been very interested in the RAS pathways because coronaviruses so often target them. When we looked at the Covid-19 expression data in the context of the RAS pathways, these patterns jumped out at me by simply looking at the data in a different way."

Using system biology, the underlying environmental and biological considerations can be examined using explainable-AI and supercomputing. The group works on other projects that involve a broad range of biology, including bioenergy, microbiomes, cardiovascular disease, autism, opioid addiction, and suicide to name a few. Building tools that can apply to a variety of projects not only allows researchers to save time; it can also add a level of additional transparency into the process to ensure accuracy. The necessary creative aspects of the research process can be taken to the next level with the productive use of various explainable-AI tools.

Dan Jacobsons work at ORNL for the Department of Energy along with his colleagues at ORNL, the Veterans Administration, Yale University, Cincinnati Childrens Hospital and the Versiti Blood Research Institute will likely usher in a new era of using supercomputing and explainable AI to help researchers take a more holistic view to basic scientific research emphasizing the need to understand the bodys mechanisms to find cheaper and better ways to develop clinical treatments.

Original article: Garvin, M.R., Alvarez, C., Miller, J.I., Prates, E.T., Walker, A.M., Amos, B.K., Mast, A.E., Justice, A., Aronow, B. and Jacobson, D., 2020. A mechanistic model and therapeutic interventions for COVID-19 involving a RAS-mediated bradykinin storm. Elife, 9, p.e59177.

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Researchers Use Supercomputers To Discover New Pathway For Covid-19 Inflammation - Forbes

Supercomputer-Powered Research Uncovers Signs of ‘Bradykinin Storm’ That May Explain COVID-19 Symptoms – HPCwire

Doctors and medical researchers have struggled to pinpoint let alone explain the deluge of symptoms induced by COVID-19 infections in patients, and what was once seen as a purely respiratory virus is beginning to be seen as a far more wide-ranging ailment. Now, new research from a team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is using supercomputing power to illuminate how SARS-CoV-2 instigates various symptoms in hitherto unexplained ways.

The team, led by Dan Jacobson (chief scientist for computational systems biology at ORNL), compared the genes of cells from the lung fluids of nine COVID-19-infected patients to similar cells from 40 control patients. They were hunting for co-expression that is, correlation between certain genes being active or inactive. To comb through the genetic data, they turned to two of ORNLs HPC systems: Summit and Rhea.

Summits 4,608 nodes, each powered by two IBM Power9 CPUs and six Nvidia Volta GPUs, deliver 148 Linpack petaflops, placing it second on the most recent Top500 list of the worlds most powerful supercomputers. Rhea, meanwhile, is a 521-node cluster equipped with Intel Xeon E5 CPUs and Nvidia K80 GPUs that is well-suited for post-processing of data from more powerful systems.

Using this computing firepower, the researchers completed 2.5 billion correlation calculations over the course of a week. Then, they had what Jacobson describes as a eureka moment. In COVID-19-infected cells, the researchers found increased expression of enzymes that produce bradykinin (a compound that makes blood vessels dilated and permeable), decreased expression of enzymes that break down bradykinin and decreased expression of an enzyme that helps stall a catastrophic cascade: a bradykinin storm.

Based on their results, the team believes that a bradykinin storm may explain COVID-19s wide range of symptoms such as muscle pain, fatigue, headaches and brain fog better than the feared cytokine storm, a similar (and much better-known) effect where the body releases too many of the cytokine proteins that help regulate the human immune system.

We believe that when you take the inhibition at the top of this pathway off, you end up with an out-of-control cascade that leads to an opening up of the blood vessels, causing them to leak, Jacobson said in an interview with ORNLs Rachel Harken. If that happens in the lung, thats not good. Immune cells that are normally contained in the blood vessels flood into the surrounding infected tissue, causing inflammation.

The team is hopeful that if their results are validated by experimental analysis, at least ten different known drugs may prove promising to assist patients suffering from a bradykinin storm. If we can block this pathogenesis in severe patients, we can keep the human response from going overboard and give their immune system time to fight off the virus so they can recover, Jacobson said.

The researchers also found that the lung fluids of COVID-19 patients had higher expression of genes that increase the production and decrease the breakdown of hyaluronic acid a substance that can make patients feel like theyre trying to breathe through Jell-O. The team is hopeful that drug compounds known to treat this acid buildup will now also be explored.

To read ORNLs Rachel Harkens reporting on this research, click here.

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Supercomputer-Powered Research Uncovers Signs of 'Bradykinin Storm' That May Explain COVID-19 Symptoms - HPCwire

Celtic and Rangers title race outcome predicted by betting supercomputer – HeraldScotland

CELTIC will make history with ten in a row as the Scottish Premiership season gets underway, according to betting firm unikrn's supercomputer calculations.

Brainboxes at the bookmaker have used a number of different markets and a prediction algorithm to determine the final table and it's good news for the Hoops' quest to make history.

Rangers find themselves in a familiar spot in second place with Aberdeen booked for another bronze medal to complete the top three.

At the bottom of the table, the number crunching doesn't bode well for Hamilton, who are predicted to finish at the bottom of the table, while St Mirrens fate will be decided in the play-offs.

The system is based on factoring a range of the most informative betting markets in terms of influencing the final outcome of the season including title winner, 'without the Old Firm', bottom 6 and bottom place.

A unikrn spokesperson said: "It might not come as much of a surprise that Celtic are booked for ten in a row and our calculations read well for Hoops fans ahead of the restart. Steven Gerrard's Rangers will be hoping to run them close, but the numbers suggest they're booked for second place again.

"Things are looking bleak for Hamilton, who will fight with St Mirren to avoid finishing last and earn a last-chance place in the play-offs."

Scottish Premiership Supercomputer from unikrn

1. Celtic (1/2) (title odds)

2. Rangers (7/4)

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3. Aberdeen (2/1) (winner without Celtic and Rangers)

4. Hibernian (7/2)

5. Motherwell (5/1)

6. Kilmarnock (14/1)

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7. Livingston (2/5) (to finish bottom 6)

8. St. Johnstone (1/2)

9. Dundee United (3/5)

10. Ross County (1/10)

---

11. St Mirren (7/4) (to finish bottom)

12. Hamilton (6/4)

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Nvidia reportedly in advanced talks to buy Arm – ZDNet

Nvidia is in advanced talks to acquire chip designer Arm from Softbank, according to reports -- a move that would be sure to draw regulatory scrutiny. According to the Financial Times and Bloomberg, the potential deal could value Arm at more than $32 billion, the price at which it was acquired by SoftBank four years ago.

Nvidia's market value has already surpassed that of Intel, and purchasing Arm could give the GPU maker a much broader footprint in the semiconductor industry. The deal could elicit objections from companies that license Arm's technology, including Apple, Broadcom or Qualcomm.

While Arm's technology is already dominant in mobile devices, the company has recently expanded its reach in several other areas as well. The company hit a huge milestone in the infrastructure space last month when Japan's Fugaku supercomputer became the first ARM-powered supercomputer to be dubbed the fastest computer in the world. And last year, the company finally gained real traction in the data center market with the debut of Amazon Web Service's Arm-based Graviton2 processor. Additionally, Apple last month announced plans to move the Mac to its own processors based on Arm.

SoftBank is now considering selling Arm to bolster the firm's cash reserves as part of a $41 billion debt reduction program. Earlier this month, Arm announced plans to shed its two IoT Services Group (ISG) businesses, spinning them off into new entities owned and operated by SoftBank. The move would let Arm focus more on its core semiconductor IP business.

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Nvidia reportedly in advanced talks to buy Arm - ZDNet

NVIDIA Claims To Have Won MLPerf Benchmarking, But Google Says Otherwise – Analytics India Magazine

With the third round of MLPerf benchmarking results coming out, graphic giant, NVIDIA announced breaking AI performance records becoming the fastest products available commercially for AI training. However, on the other hand, Google has also proclaimed acing the MLPerf tests with the worlds fastest training supercomputer.

Although both companies have showcased significant achievements in creating faster training processes of ML models, which indeed would be critical for research breakthroughs, there is a hidden element that needs to be paid attention to.

Similar to System Performance Evaluation Consortium benchmark and Transaction Processing Council benchmark, MLPerf is an industry-standard benchmark that has been designed to measure the time to train ML models on a few specific tasks. Comprising some 80 companies and universities from all over the world, some other prominent vendors competing in the MLPerf benchmark tests were Intels Xeon processors and Huawei.

Also Read: How MLPerf Will Propel A New Benchmarking Era For Machine Learning

The current result announced by MLPerf was similar to its last two results where NVIDIA stood firm in the top position for all 16 benchmarks with its commercially available hardware and software products for a variety of ML tasks. However, on the other hand, Googles Tensor Processing Unit has surpassed NVIDIAs results in most tasks for the category of research projects.

In a recent tweet, Google AI lead, Jeff Dean shared his excitement on setting records in six out of eight benchmarks in MLPerf tests. According to the results Google topped in training DLRM, Transformer, BERT, SSD, ResNet-50 and Mask R-CNN leveraging its new machine learning supercomputer and TPU chip. In fact, it is believed that Googles supercomputer is 4x larger than Googles Cloud TPU v3 Pod, which made records in the previous results, becoming the first cloud provider to outperform on-premise systems.

While Google has powered up its Cloud TPUs providing faster training time for ML models, NVIDIAs advanced GPU A100 also proved to execute five petaflops of performance excelling on all eight benchmarks of MLPerf. A100 has been the first processor designed on NVIDIAs Ampere architecture, which allows the GPU to address different sized acceleration needs from small to big multi-node workload.

Strangely enough, realising the advanced capabilities of A100 that could easily dominate the field, the only companies to put their submission for commercially available servers were Google and Huawei, that also for only for two categories image classification and natural language processing. Thereby, NVIDIAs results remained high in system design and training models beating Huawei, Googles TPU as well as Intel, which has recently switched to Habanas AI chips.

According to the results, it took about 49 seconds for NVIDIAs DGX A100 to train BERT, which is better than Google with 57 minutes. Understanding its position, Google, therefore submitted its V4 chip in the research category to build its position for the same, with an astounding performance for many training tasks. With that being said, the company hasnt yet released it on the Google Cloud, which again can put it way behind in the race against A100, which is commercially in production.

Also Read: TPU Vs GPU Vs CPU: Which Hardware Should You Choose For Deep Learning

These pointers above highlight how NVIDIA single-handedly dominates the commercial category with other vendor companies like Dell EMC, Alibaba, and even Google using A100 for submitting their performance results. However, even though Googles TPU will still not be available in the market for some time, it indeed showcased intensive performance for many tasks in MLPerf. Interestingly, Intel has also joined the force with its soon-to-be-released CPU, however too early to predict its success in applications.

Home NVIDIA Claims To Have Won MLPerf Benchmarking, But Google Says Otherwise

On another note, MLPerf added a new test to reflect upon the growing application of machine learning in production settings Deep Learning Recommendation Model. Although NVIDIA has performed brilliantly on the newly added benchmarking test, it might still lag in building recommendation engines due to the requirement of a massive amount of supercomputing memory. Google, on the other hand, with its supercomputing abilities, has recently launched a beta version of Recommendation AI, making building recommendation engines super easy for developers.

Having said that, even though MLPerf assesses almost all aspects of AI performance, two vital parameters left out in this benchmarking test are the comparison of the price of chips and computers, and the consumption of energy, which are critical for todays era. It is believed that machines with better accuracy and more chips are going to consume more energy and are going to be heavier on the pockets, which might put Google on the lead once again.

With all that information in hand, it can be established that a usual trend of bigger hardware is indeed gaining traction, which will drastically reduce the amount of training time of machine learning models. However, NVIDIA cannot be the only one dominating the market. Googles supercomputer also showed tremendous results in training ML models to perform tasks.

While NVIDIA and Google are still going to continue the race of achieving the highest AI performance record, NVIDIA stated in their company blog, the real winners are the customers who will now be able to leverage this advancement to transform their businesses faster with AI.

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Continental is supercharging the development of driver-assistance tech – CNET

There's not much to see here, but the processing power in this room is staggering.

No self-driving cars are available today, but like it or not, they're coming. Automakers and supplier companies around the world are hard at work developing the technology that will enable these autonomous machines. Accelerating its own efforts, German firm Continental has set up a new supercomputer specifically for developing advanced driver-assistance technologies.

The unit in question is built around more than 50 Nvidia DGX systems and has been up and running since the beginning of the year. This supercomputer dramatically increases Continental's number-crunching capabilities. In the same amount of time, researchers can now run more than 14 times as many tests as they could before.

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It's difficult to say if this is the most powerful supercomputer in the automotive industry, but it's certainly near the top. "It puts Continental in a pretty good spot," said Phil van den Berge, Nvidia's vice president of automotive. Developing advanced driver-assistance technology is tremendously intensive work, he added, and having a purpose-built architecture like this one is a major help.

"That is now the game-changer," said Christian Schumacher, head of program management systems in Continental's advanced driver-assistance systems business unit. The new supercomputer can enable things the company only dreamt of doing just a decade ago.

Autonomous cars are coming whether you like it or not,

To help develop advanced automotive technologies, Continental operates a large fleet of evaluation vehicles around the world. Combined, they log around 9,300 miles of driving per day, collecting around 100 terabytes of data in the process. "In the past, it was impossible to deal with this [volume of] data," explained Schumacher. But thanks to the new computer, Continental can actually use it. He said tasks that took weeks to run can now be completed in just days -- a huge improvement.

Not only can this supercomputer chew through all the information collected from real-world testing, it can also generate data synthetically. "A lot of the situations out there we cannot predict," said Schumacher, so their new system can basically conjure up new simulations out of thin air. Of course, this sort of testing will never replace physical cars and actual driving, but he noted this capability is still hugely important in the development of driver-assistance tech.

And if they do run short of number-crunching capability, researchers and engineers can still tap into internet-based services for a little extra horsepower. Continental's new supercomputer is located in Frankfurt, Germany, a city with nearby cloud providers and other benefits. Helping keep the local environment just a little cleaner, Schumacher said, "We have certified green energy that is used to power the computer," which is air cooled and, as you might imagine, hungry for electricity.

Dude, you're getting a Dell... or rather, something much more powerful from Nvidia.

On the road to autonomy, "What we are currently targeting is Level 2 [plus]," said Schumacher, which Continental is looking to roll out in the 2022-to-2023 timeframe. The SAE vehicle autonomy scale runs from Level 0, which offers no automation whatsoever, to Level 5, where the vehicle drives itself under all conditions. Level 2 provides things like lane centering and adaptive cruise control, while Level 3 throws traffic-jam assistance and automatic steering into the mix, though the driver must still pay attention and be able to take over if the system demands it.

Autonomous vehicles are not here yet, and it's debatable when they'll arrive, but they're likely just a little bit closer to reality now that Continental has invested in extra processing power.

Now playing: Watch this: Super Cruising with the 2018 Cadillac CT6's autonomous...

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Continental is supercharging the development of driver-assistance tech - CNET

COVID-19 Pandemic Can Help More of Us Learn About Climate Change – UT News | The University of Texas at Austin

In a climactic scene in the 1983 movie WarGames, as the supercomputer rushes to find a pattern of missile launches that would win a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, the protagonist has the computer play tic-tac-toe against itself. After learning that neither side ever wins in tic-tac-toe, the computer recognizes the analogy to nuclear war and decides not to launch a strike.

Usually a gifted writer finds analogies that are perfect learning opportunities, but COVID-19 can help us learn our lesson about another potential catastrophe climate change.

The pandemic has several key properties. Without good social distancing behaviors, the growth of the number of cases is exponential. There is also a delay of about two weeks from the behaviors people engage in and the time it takes for people to get diagnosed with the disease. So, when regions relax their social distancing measures, it takes a few weeks before the cases start to be recorded.

Finally, exponential growth is hard to detect at first because early on when you plot the growth in cases over time, it is hard to tell the difference between exponential growth and straight line growth. Unfortunately, by the time you really can tell the difference between them, the number of cases is growing very quickly.

This combination of factors contributed to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in many states. Governors and local officials began relaxing social distancing rules. For about a month, cases in those states rose slowly in ways that could easily have been interpreted as demonstrating that the increased social contact was not contributing significantly to the spread of the disease.

Now we know that it has to the point where many states that had taken a relaxed attitude toward the pandemic are placing restrictions on business openings and are requiring people to wear masks in public.

Even if people do start engaging in more social distancing now, it will be a few weeks before the growth in the number of cases starts to flatten out, because our current behavior affects the cases we are able to detect in about two weeks. And knowing what we do now it probably would have been best if we had acted more quickly to get people to wear masks in public and to keep their distance from other people.

This situation is an excellent analogy to climate change. Increasing greenhouse gas emissions are leading to an exponential increase in temperature on Earth. The effects of climate change are delayed, though, so the greenhouse gases released now have their impact on climate in the future. For years, temperatures have been rising slowly, in ways that were hard to distinguish from simple linear growth, but now they are growing more quickly. Yet, people have not been willing to change their individual behavior much, and governments have been reluctant to pursue environmentally friendly policies.

The critical lesson is that we do not have to wait for more evidence that we are in an exponential growth situation before acting to protect the climate. Because of the lag between action and effect, we need to take steps now to reduce our carbon footprint.

In addition, like the pandemic, it is the collective action of the world community that is required. That means we need to put social pressure on other countries to reduce emissions even as we take steps ourselves. Reengaging with the Paris Agreement would be a step in that direction. Just as many governors have reversed course on relaxing social distancing guidelines in the face of new infections, the United States must admit that we have not taken climate change seriously enough while there is still time to prevent catastrophe.

Ultimately, the pandemic has taught us that changing behavior only after the growth in cases is clearly exponential has made it difficult to get the number of new cases under control and has threatened to overrun the capacity of hospitals in many regions.

Will we be able to apply this logic to climate change before it is too late? Perhaps we can take time during the pandemic to start flattening the climate change curve.

Art Markman is a professor of psychology and marketing and executive director of the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Smart Thinking, which explores the role of analogies in effective thought.

A version of this op-ed appeared in the San Antonio Express News.

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COVID-19 Pandemic Can Help More of Us Learn About Climate Change - UT News | The University of Texas at Austin

From rocks to icebergs, the natural world tends to break into cubes – Science Magazine

A scanning electron micrograph of dolomite, a mineral with a striking rhombohedric structure

By Adam MannJul. 27, 2020 , 3:25 PM

Perhaps the Cubists were right. Researchers have found that when everything from icebergs to rocks breaks apart, their pieces tend to resemble cubes. The finding suggests a universal rule of fragmentation at scales ranging from the microscopic to the planetary.

Its a very beautiful combination of pure mathematics, materials science, and geology, says Sujit Datta, a chemical and biological engineer at Princeton University who was not involved in the work.

The finding builds on the previous work of mathematician Gbor Domokos of Budapest University of Technology and Economics, who in 2006 helped prove the existence of the gmbc, a gemstonelike shape that has only one stable balance point. Set a gmbc down on a table, and it will always come to rest in the exact same position, unlike, say, a cylinder, which can rest on its end or its side. In subsequent work, Domokos and his colleagues found that entities such as pebbles washing downriver and sand grains blowing in the wind tend to erode toward gmbcish shapes without ever achieving that ideal. The gmbc is part of nature, but only as a dream, Domokos says.

He and his team then turned to the other side of this processhow rocks themselves are born. They started their study fragmenting an abstract cube in a computer simulation by slicing it with 50 2Dplanes inserted at random angles. The planes cut the cube into 600,000 fragments, which were, on average, cubic themselvesmeaning that, on average, the fragments had six sides that were quadrangles, although any individual fragment need not be a cube. The result led the researchers to suspect that cubes might be a common feature of fragmentation.

The researchers tried to confirm this hunch using real-world measurements. They headed to an outcrop of the mineral dolomite on the mountain Hrmashatrhegy in Budapest, Hungary, and counted the number of vertices in cracks in the stone face. Most of these cracks formed squarish shapes, which is one of the faces of a cube, regardless of whetherthey had been weathered naturally or had been created by humans dynamiting the mountain.

Finally, the team created more powerful supercomputer simulations modeling the breakup of 3D materials under idealized conditionslike a rock being pulled equally in all directions. Such cases formed polyhedral pieces that were, in an average sense, cubes, the researchers report this week in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Skeptics might point out that many things in the natural world dont fragment into cubes. Minerals such as mica, for instance, come off in flakes, whereas basaltic formations including the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland break into hexagonal columns.

Thats because real materials are not like the idealized forms found in the teams simulations, says Douglas Jerolmack, a geophysicist at the University of Pennsylvaniaand co-author of the paper. They usually contain interior structures or properties that favor noncubic breakages. For example, mica flakes because it is weaker in one direction than in the perpendicular directions. But in a statistical averaged sense, rocks are born as something thats a vague shadow of a cube, Jerolmack says. The findings, he adds, could help hydrologists predict fluid flow through cracks in the ground for oil extraction, or help geologists calculate the sizes of hazardous rocks breaking off cliff faces.

Some find the study a bit difficult to parse, however. You need to have this abstract theoretical view of earth surface processes to really dig into what this can mean, says Anne Voigtlnder, a geologist at theGFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. Its sometimes hard for geologists to understand the value of it, or to see where it applies.

Jerolmack agrees that, in some sense, the result is more philosophical than scientific. He notes that his team took inspiration from the Greek philosopher Plato, who related each of the four classical elementsearth, air, fire, and waterto a regular polyhedron, coincidentally linking earth with the cube. But Plato is more remembered for his allegory of the cave, in which he speculated about certain idealized and eternal forms, of which only garbled versions existed in the real world. With the naked eye you see distorted imagesthe fragments, Domokos says. But in order to see the ideal, you have to use your mind.

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From rocks to icebergs, the natural world tends to break into cubes - Science Magazine

New Data on Genetic Expression In Severe COVID-19, Pre-Existing Immune Response – Bio-IT World

July 31, 2020 |Research continues to uncover the underlying biology of SARS-CoV-2 and reveal some surprises. A German team found that 35% of their healthy controls had pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive T cells, and several groups are narrowing down the gene expression signatures that might explain why COVID-19 is so severe in some patients.

Literature Updates

In a preprint made available byNature(peer reviewed and accepted for publication, but not copy edited or typeset), a German team from Charit - Universittsmedizin Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics detected SARS-CoV-2 S-reactive CD4+ T cells in 83% of 18 patients with COVID-19 but also in 35% of the 68 healthy controls. The role ofpre-existing SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive T cellsfor clinical outcomes remains to be determined in larger cohorts, the authors write. However, the presence of S-cross-reactive T cells in a sizable fraction of the general population may affect the dynamics of the current pandemic, and has important implications for the design and analysis of upcoming COVID-19 vaccine trials.DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2598-9

A German team has characterized thepapain-like protease PLprothat is implicated in evading host anti-viral immune responses. They have just published biochemical, structural and functional characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 PLpro (SCoV2-PLpro) in Nature and outlined differences to SARS-CoV PLpro (SCoV-PLpro) in controlling host interferon (IFN) and NF-B pathways. While SCoV2-PLpro and SCoV-PLpro share 83% sequence identity, they exhibit different host substrate preferences. In particular, SCoV2-PLpro preferentially cleaves the ubiquitin-like protein ISG15, whereas SCoV-PLpro predominantly targets ubiquitin chains. Their results highlight a dual therapeutic strategy in which targeting of SCoV2-PLpro can suppress SARS-CoV-2 infection and promote anti-viral immunity.DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2601-5

Analyses of lung fluid cells from 19 COVID-19 patients and 40 controls conducted on Oak Ridge National Laboratorys Summit supercomputer fastest supercomputer point togene expression patterns that may explain the runaway symptomsproduced by the body's response to SARS-CoV-2. The computational analyses suggest that genes related to one of the body's systems responsible for lowering blood pressurethe bradykinin systemappear to be excessively "turned on" in the lung fluid cells of those with the virus. The results were published ineLife.Based on their analyses, the team posits that bradykininthe compound that dilates blood vessels and makes them permeableis overproduced in the body of COVID-19 patients; related systems either contribute to overproduction or cannot slow the process. Excessive bradykinin leads to leaky blood vessels, allowing fluid to build up in the body's soft tissues.DOI: 10.7554/eLife.59177

In a new published study inCell Discovery, researchers from Nanjing University and two other groups from Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Second Hospital of Nanjing present a novel finding that absorbed miRNA MIR2911 inhoneysuckle decoction (HD) can directly target SARS-CoV-2 genesand inhibit viral replication. The authors posit that drinking HD may accelerate the negative conversion of COVID-19 patients.By reconstructing the evolutionary history of SARS-CoV-2, an international research team of Chinese, European and U.S. scientists has discovered that the lineage that gave rise to the virus has been circulating in bats for decades and likely includes other viruses with the ability to infect humans. They published their findings inNature Microbiology. The team used three different bioinformatic approaches to identify and remove the recombinant regions within the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Next, they reconstructed phylogenetic histories for the non-recombinant regions and compared them to each other to see which specific viruses have been involved in recombination events in the past. They were able to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships between SARS-CoV-2 and its closest known bat and pangolin viruses.DOI: 10.1038/s41564-020-0771-4

In a paper published inNature Microbiology, an international team from Germany, Switzerland, and the US showed that lymphocyte antigen 6 complex, locus E (LY6E) potentlyrestricts infection by multiple CoVs, including SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV. Mechanistic studies revealed that LY6E inhibits CoV entry into cells by interfering with spike protein-mediated membrane fusion. These findings advance our understanding of immune-mediated control of CoVin vitroandin vivoknowledge that could help inform strategies to combat infection by emerging CoVs, the authors write.DOI: 10.1038/s41564-020-0769-y

Researchers at Yale tracked the progress of 113 patients admitted to Yale New Haven Hospital for COVID-19 and analyzed the varying immune system responses they exhibited during their hospital stay. They found anassociation between early, elevated cytokines and worse disease outcomes. Following an early increase in cytokines, COVID-19 patients with moderate disease displayed a progressive reduction in type-1 (antiviral) and type-3 (antifungal) responses, the authors wrote. In contrast, patients with severe disease maintained these elevated responses throughout the course of disease and saw an increase in multiple type 2 (anti-helminths) effectors including, IL-5, IL-13, IgE and eosinophils. They published their findings inNature.DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2588-y

Using cohort of 782 COVID-19 positive patients and 7,025 COVID-19 negative patients, a team of researchers in Israel identified thatlow plasma vitamin D levelsappears to be an independent risk factor for COVID-19 infection and hospitalization. The research was published inThe FEBS Journal. The mean plasma vitamin D level was significantly lower among those who tested positive than negative for COVID19.DOI: 10.1111/febs.15495

Dutch researchers have identified agenetic link to severe COVID-19 disease among healthy, young men. In two separate families with severely sick young me, the researchers found mutations in the gene encoding for the Toll-like receptor 7. Rare putative loss-of-function variants of X-chromosomal TLR7 were identified that were associated with impaired type I and II IFN responses, the authors write inJAMA. These preliminary findings provide insights into the pathogenesis of COVID-19.DOI: 10.1001/jama.2020.13719

Loss of smellis the main neurological symptom of COVID-19, but the underlying mechanism has been unclear. New research published inScience Advancessuggests that olfactory sensory neurons are not vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection because they do not express ACE2, a key protein that the virus uses to enter human cells. Instead, loss of smell stems from infection of nonneuronal supporting cells in the nose and forebrain.DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc5801

A global research team has identified21 existing drugs that stop the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 at safe human doses. They found the drugs by analyzing 12,000 clinical-stage or FDA-approved small molecules for their ability to block the replication of SARS-CoV-2. Their findings will be published in Nature.DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2577-1

Researchers atKing Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)used comparative pangenomic analysis of all sequenced reference Betacoronaviruses to determine that the envelope protein E is shared between SARS and SARS-CoV-2. They suggest E protein as an alternative therapeutic target to be considered for further studies to reduce complications of SARS-CoV-2 infections in COVID-19. The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 has been the prime target of vaccine work thus far, and while the S proteins from SARS and SARS-CoV-2 are similar, structural differences in the receptor binding domain (RBD) preclude the use of SARS-specific neutralizing antibodies to inhibit SARS-CoV-2. The KAUST team looked elsewhere for similarities, using comparative pangenomic analysis complemented with functional and structural analyses, and found that among all core gene clusters present in these viruses, the envelope protein E shows a variant cluster shared by SARS and SARS-CoV-2 with two completely-conserved key functional features, namely an ion-channel, and a PDZ-binding motif (PBM). The work was published inFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Molecular Biology.DOI: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.00405

In a study published inJAMA Cardiology, German researchers looked at 100 patients aged 45-53 who had recovered from COVID-19 (67 at home; 33 had been hospitalized) and had no pre-existing heart conditions. Cardiac MRI after recovery showed 78% with some cardiac involvement; 60% of those showedongoing myocardial inflammation. Our findings reveal that significant cardiac involvement occurs independently of the severity of original presentation and persists beyond the period of acute presentation, with no significant trend toward reduction of imaging or serological findings during the recovery period, the authors write. Our findings may provide an indication of potentially considerable burden of inflammatory disease in large and growing parts of the population and urgently require confirmation in a larger cohort.DOI: 10.1001/jamacardio.2020.3557

In a separateJAMA Cardiologypublication also from German researchers, a study of 39 autopsy cases of patients with COVID-19 found thatcardiac infection with SARS-CoV-2was found to be frequent but not associated with myocarditis-like influx of inflammatory cells into the myocardium.DOI: 10.1001/jamacardio.2020.3551

Researchers at theUniversity of Texas, Austin, have engineered the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virusa critical component of potential COVID-19 vaccinesto be more environmentally stable and generate larger yields in the lab. They characterized 100 structure-guided spike designs and identified 26 individual substitutions that increased protein yields and stability. Testing combinations of beneficial substitutions resulted in the identification of HexaPro, a variant with six beneficial proline substitutions exhibiting ~10-fold higher expression than its parental construct and the ability to withstand heat stress, storage at room temperature, and three freeze-thaw cycles. They published their findings inScience.DOI: 10.1126/science.abd0826

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New Data on Genetic Expression In Severe COVID-19, Pre-Existing Immune Response - Bio-IT World

Superman’s Glasses Are Secretly Used For Mind Control – Screen Rant

Superman has an almost endless number of super powers but did you know he can also use his glasses to hypnotize others? Believe it!

Ah, Superman! Able to defy gravity, bend steel in his bare hands, shrug off bullets, and hypnotize people? Yes, strange as it may seem, Supermans multitude of powers once included super-hypnotism. Even stranger? He was able to enhance his power with his Clark Kent glasses!

Back in the Silver Age, Superman enjoyed a number of offbeat powers from super plasticity (which allowed him to reshape his face), super-ventriloquism (which allowed him to mimic any voice and throw his voice anywhere), and even a super-kiss! However, while many of these powers had a limited shelf life, super-hypnosis kept showing up in many of Clark Kents adventures and eventually became the official reason why no one recognized Clark Kent was Superman!

Related: Superman Hides His Costume In The WEIRDEST Place

Superman could originally use his power of super-hypnosis simply by looking at a person and concentrating. In certain stories, he also employed a watch, which he swung back and forth in front of his subjects like a stage hypnotist. He even managed to use his power of super-hypnosis on himself on certain occasions, although like many hypnotists, he claimed that his subjects needed to want to be hypnotized in order for this superpower to work.

Other times, however, this didnt appear to be true. During one of Mr. Mxyzptlks schemes, Superman wound up being caught in a warped world where the male and female genders were switched, causing him to contend with a Superwoman and a Wonder Warrior. At one point, he was captured and his super powers were muted by a helmet full of Kryptonite gas. Despite this, Superman was able to use some reflected light off of his helmet to shine a beam into Wonder Warriors eyes and hypnotize the male Amazon into a deep sleep.

Interestingly then, it appeared that Supermans super-hypnotism was more of a learned ability than a Kryptonian super power. However, in other Superman comic books, he learned he had unknowingly been using Kryptonian technology for years to super-hypnotize everyone. In Superman #330, Clark finally starts questioning his use of glasses as a disguise and concludes that its the dumbest disguise hed ever seen. Wondering how his Clark Kent disguise managed to fool people all these years, he starts wondering if an ace reporter like Lois Lane has just been humoring him all these years.

Later, however, Superman discovers the secret to his disguise actually lies in special properties in his glasses. Since the lenses in Clark Kents glasses are actually made of the plexiglass window from the rocket ship that brought him to Earth, the lenses actually amplify his super-hypnotic abilities whenever he wears his glasses, causing people to see Clark Kent as a frailer and weaker man than Superman.

Superman found he could even use his Kryptonian lenses to brainwash his foes as he did when he tackled the Parasite, an enemy who had leached away his superpowers, and hypnotized him into giving him those powers back. Since the Parasite clearly didnt want to be hypnotized, Clark Kents glasses apparently gave Superman the power to mind control anyone he wanted to. (Fortunately, he was too super-ethical to use this power immorally as far as anyone knows).

Eventually, the mind-controlling glasses and super-hypnosis power were dropped as Superman entered the modern age. Later writers simply explained that people didnt suspect Clark was Superman because Superman never let on that he had a dual identity. Even Lex Luthor refused to believe Superman would lower himself to pretend to be an ordinary mortal, even after a super computer deduced Clark Kent was Superman. Nevertheless, at one time, Clark Kents glasses actually did give Superman the power of mind control and allowed the most stupid disguise in the world to actually fool people for years.

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Michael Jung is a mild-mannered freelance writer-for-hire, actor, and professional storyteller with a keen interest in pop culture, education, nonprofit organizations, and unusual side hustles. His work has been featured in Screen Rant, ASU Now, Sell Books Fast, Study.com, and Free Arts among others. A graduate of Arizona State University with a PhD in 20th Century American Literature, Michael has written novels, short stories, stage plays, screenplays, and how-to manuals.

Michaels background in storytelling draws him to find the most fascinating aspects of any topic and transform them into a narrative that informs and entertains the reader. Thanks to a life spent immersed in comic books and movies, Michael is always ready to infuse his articles with offbeat bits of trivia for an extra layer of fun. In his spare time, you can find him entertaining kids as Spider-Man or Darth Vader at birthday parties or scaring the heck out of them at haunted houses.

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Superman's Glasses Are Secretly Used For Mind Control - Screen Rant