BSC-CNS Newsletter January 2024

Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Newsletter
NEWSLETTER January 2024

European supercomputer MareNostrum 5 starts up

The new European supercomputer MareNostrum 5 was inaugurated the 21st of December in an institutional event attended by various authorities, including the Spanish and Catalan Presidents.Thanks to its unique computational architecture, MareNostrum 5 will advance science in all areas, from the development of digital twins of the planet Earth and the human body, to the search for new treatments for diseases such as cancer, the design of healthier and more sustainable cities, or the search for new energy sources and new materials.

Launch of the European Virtual Human Twins Initiative

BSC hosted the launch event of the European Virtual Human Twins (VHTs) Initiative which supports the emergence and adoption of the next generation of virtual human twins solutions in health and care. It will provide tangible benefits for citizens and patients, while also sustaining and advancing EU science and technology. Therefore, a Manifesto, supported by the Commission, was announced. The Manifesto is a Statement of Intent on the collaborative development of VHTs and their increased adoption across the EU.

BSC presents Sargantana, the new generation of the first open-source chips designed in Spain

The third generation of the Lagarto family of processors, designed entirely at BSC, represents a step forward in the development of high-performance European chips. Based on RISC-V open hardware technology, the new processor is an important advance to achieve European technological sovereignty and reducing dependence on large multinational corporations. Sargantana is one of the most advanced open source chips in Europe at the academic level.

BSC researchers design a strategy to better understand protein evolution

BSC researchers have taken advantage of AlphaFold2's ability to predict the structures of the thousands of proteins that constitute different protein families to develop a computational method that analyses the degree of conservation throughout evolution - and therefore their importance - of regions critical to the structure and function of each protein family. The new computational method, published in Nature Communications, could help design new proteins with different biotechnological and biomedical applications.

Virtual heart created by BSC researchers on display at London Science Museum

A complex and impressing simulation of a beating human heart created by BSC researchers was unveiled at the Science Museum in London, one of the world’s leading science museums. Created by BSC bioengineer Jazmín Aguado-Sierra using scans of her own heart, the virtual heart shows the complex interactions between electrical impulses, muscle contraction and blood flow in the heart - a feat only possible using supercomputer power.

The climate crisis could trigger the outbreak of new and lethal infectious diseases

BSC and IRB Barcelona researchers identify the mechanisms by which a yeast that belongs to the Candida family has acquired characteristics that make it a potential pathogen for humans. In fungi, hybridisation is a shortcut that makes it easier for these microorganisms to adapt to the human body and infect it. Published in the journal Nature Communications, this finding also paves the way for identifying the adaptations that allow certain microorganisms to be more likely to colonise humans and cause disease.

BSC participates in a study against West Nile Virus

The project aims to design therapies to limit the impact of West Nile Virus (WNV), an emerging pathogen against which there is currently no treatment or prevention strategy. The study, led by IrsiCaixa, will work on the development of a safe and effective prophylactic vaccine against WNV that can induce a prolonged immune response over time and that protects the entire population. WNV uses mosquitoes as a vector for transmission and 1% of cases develop a severe disease that affects the central nervous system and can eventually lead to death.

BSC leads the new phase of the European Centre of Excellence in Weather and Climate Simulations

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center is leading the third phase of this centre of excellence, ESiWACE3, whose main objective is to help the European Earth systems modelling community achieve a higher level of accuracy and precision in their climate and weather research and simulations. It is co-financed by the European Commission through the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking.

BSC responds to the urgent need to build resilience to climate-related health threats

The urgency of facing climate-related health impacts highlights the need to work towards mitigating, adapting and creating resilience to the threat posed by climate change. The Global Health Resilience group at BSC has published three articles highlighting the need for immediate action to address climate change-related health threats—such as geographical range expansion and outbreaks of climate-sensitive infectious diseases—and their uneven impacts across societal groups within and beyond Europe.

New international consortium formed to create trustworthy and reliable generative AI models for science

A global consortium of scientists from federal laboratories, research institutes (BSC among them), academia, and industry has formed to address the challenges of building large-scale artificial intelligence (AI) systems and advancing trustworthy and reliable AI for scientific discovery. The Trillion Parameter Consortium brings together teams of researchers engaged in creating large- scale generative AI models to address key challenges in advancing AI for science. 

BSC Democratizes the Use of NVIDIA BlueField DPUs in HPC with ODOS

BSC researchers, led by researcher Antonio Peña, has developed a solution that provides support for standard OpenMP offloading syntax and semantics for DPUs, aptly named ODOS (OpenMP offloading support for NVIDIA DOCA). ODOS extends the LLVM compiler infrastructure to enable OpenMP offloading for NVIDIA BlueField DPUs. With ODOS, users can seamlessly offload computations to GPUs and/or DPUs by using the familiar and widely adopted standard OpenMP syntax.

New version of PyCOMPSs/COMPSs with features towards energy monitoring and better interactivity

This COMPSs release comes with support for the Energy Aware Runtime (EAR) to obtain energy profiles in Python-based applications. The interactive execution of applications has been enhanced with a new Jupyter kernel and JupyterLab extension to manage PyCOMPSs in the Jupyter ecosystem. Another addition is the support for dynamic user-defined constraints for the tasks. The group has also launched the new release of dislib, which includes new algorithms for Random Forest regressor and for the truncated SVD.

BSC promotes technological transfer with the Innovation Journey program

The third edition of the Innovation Journey, the technology transfer training program driven by BSC, has concluded. Specifically designed for researchers with entrepreneurial aspirations, this year's edition of the program involved the participation of 15 projects during 7 training sessions aimed at providing participants with the tools and resources needed to materialize their most innovative ideas.

The 'Código y Algoritmos' exhibition, with the participation of BSC, travels to Brussels

The exhibition ‘Código y algoritmos. Sentido en un mundo calculado’, organised by the Telefónica Foundation, is on display at the iMAL Art Center for Digital Cultures & Technology in Brussels. The showcase includes an audiovisual work produced by BSC that illustrates how the processing of huge amounts of data is accelerating scientific research. Organised on the occasion of the Spanish Presidency of the EU and with the support of the Spanish Embassy in Belgium, 'Código y algoritmos' will be on display until the 18 February 2024.

BSC researcher Ulises Cortés, awarded an honorary degree by the Universitat de Girona

The University of Girona has awarded the distinction of doctor honoris causa to the researcher at BSC and professor at the UPC University Ulises Cortés. The university awards the highest recognition to Cortés for his contribution to artificial intelligence technologies and for being a reference for the sum of intelligences.

BSC researcher Antonio Peña, winner of the Agustín de Betancourt award for young researchers

The BSC researcher Antonio Peña has received the Agustín de Betancourt y Molina Prize for young researchers awarded by the Real Academia de Ingeniería. This award recognises professionals who have made original and relevant contributions in any of the fields of engineering, specifically valuing aspects related to technology transfer. The jury has recognised his pioneering work on the remote virtualisation of accelerators for general-purpose computing and the use of heterogeneous memory systems in high-performance computing.

BSC research wins Zendal prize for best Sustainability initiative

A team of scientists from BSC, led by researcher Víctor Guallar, has won the Zendal Award for the best sustainability initiative for the development of an enzyme capable of degrading PET micro- and nanoparticles. The prize was received by BSC researcher Ana Robles, first author of the study, carried out in collaboration with research groups from the Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry of the CSIC and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and published in the journal Nature Catalysis.

Coming up
18 JAN 2024 F4HD: FPGA/xPU Accelerators for Future HPC and Datacenter Location: Munich, Germany
30 JAN 2024 BSC Training Course: Programming Distributed Computing Platforms with COMPSs Location: UPC, Campus Nord (Barcelona)
05 FEB 2024 BSC Training Course: Introduction to Big Data Analytics Location: UPC, Campus Nord (Barcelona)
27 FEB 2024 BSC Training Course: Introduction to Heterogeneous Memory Usage Location: UPC, Campus Nord (Barcelona)
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