Friday, June 9, 2017

‘Charliecloud’ simplifies Big Data supercomputing

Reid Priedhorsky and Tim Randles aim to simplify
supercomputer use. LANL photo.

At Los Alamos National Laboratory, home to more than 100 supercomputers since the dawn of the computing era, elegance and simplicity of programming are highly valued but not always achieved. In the case of a new product, dubbed "Charliecloud," a crisp 800-line code helps supercomputer users operate in the high-performance world of Big Data without burdening computer center staff with the peculiarities of their particular software needs. "Charliecloud lets users easily run crazy new things on our supercomputers," said lead developer Reid Priedhorsky of the High Performance Computing Division at Los Alamos. (Full story)

Investigational vaccine protected monkeys from HIV-like virus

HIV vaccine.

Building on insights from an HIV vaccine regimen in humans that had partial success during a phase 3 clinical trial in Thailand, a Duke-led research team used a more-is-better approach in monkeys that appeared to improve vaccine protection from an HIV-like virus.

Barton F. Haynes, M.D. and colleagues -- including Bette T. Korber of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, who led the vaccine design -- started from the foundation used in the RV144 human vaccine trial in Thailand. (Full story)

Refracturing revitalizes old oil wells

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are combining extensive data mining and analysis of 20,000 shale gas wells with new technologies—including better fracturing techniques and innovative working fluids such as supercritical carbon dioxide—to transform oil and gas wells that would’ve been considered at the end of their productive lives a few years ago into high-performers. (Full story)

'Halos' discovered on Mars widen time frame for potential life

Jens Frydenvang, LANL image.

Using data from the Mars Science Laboratory “Curiosity” rover, the group at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, was able to determine that Gale Crater once contained a lake of water that was likely drinkable. Moreover, even after the surface water of the lake disappeared, a significant amount of remained beneath the surface, and for a much longer period of time than previously understood.

“What this finding tells us is that, even when the lake eventually evaporated, substantial amounts of groundwater were present for much longer than we previously thought – thus further expanding the window for when life might have existed on Mars,” said Jens Frydenvang. (Full story)

Descartes unveils geospatial machine-learning platform

GeoVisual Search processes satellite and identify
 similar objects around the world. From Descartes.

Descartes Labs, a spin-off from the U.S. Energy Department’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, was established in 2014 to apply machine learning to Earth imagery and other large datasets. Before machine learning can extract value from imagery drawn from different space-based instruments, however, the data has to be pre-processed to line up pixels and correct for varying atmospheric conditions and spectral calibrations. (Full story)

Girls In STEM aims to boost interest in science careers

Amanda Madden demonstrates how to build a
spectrometer, LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Elizabeth Coronado and Kelsey Neal, with support from the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, recently launched a project called Girls in STEM, which aims to improve girls’ attitudes toward science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“Our hope is that as attitudes improve, girls will be more likely to pursue challenging STEM coursework in secondary and post-secondary schools, and that they might pursue a career in STEM whether it is at the Lab or elsewhere,” Coronado said. (Full story)

Also in the Daily Post this week:

Chris Fresquez named DOE Small Business Program Manager Of The Year

Small Business Program Manager
Chris Fresquez, LANL photo.

Chris Fresquez, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s small business program manager, is the recipient of the 2016 Small Business Program Manager of the Year Award given annually by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

“Chris’s leadership and his team’s work are essential in ensuring that the Laboratory effectively partners with our New Mexico community members” said Craig Leasure, Principal Associate Director for Operations and Business. “I congratulate Chris on this accomplishment.” (Full story)