BSC-CNS Newsletter July 2020

Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Newsletter

The vaccine candidate of IRTA, IrsiCaixa, BSC and Grifols, one of the world initiatives recognized by the WHO

The vaccine proposal against COVID-19 investigated by the consortium has been included into the WHO portal as one of the 142 vaccine initiatives from around the world. This recognition is important because it is one of the 5 vaccine proposals that are being carried out in Spain and this allows it to be placed on the world map of all existing initiatives.

BSC participates in the COVID-19 Disease Map

This repository brings together and organizes the knowledge generated so far on the molecular map of viruses and the mechanisms of interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the host, guided by contributions from experts in the domain and based on published work.

Project to calculate emissions reductions across Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic

BSC and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) have signed a contract to calculate European emission reductions during the pandemic in the framework of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. In collaboration with CAMS, BSC will provide time, sector and country dependent European emission reduction factors attributable to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown upon air pollution in Spain?

To calculate the actual NO2 reductions, BSC researchers have used artificial intelligence methods to estimate the NO2 levels that would have been attained in Spanish urban areas in the absence of the COVID-19 lockdown. From March 14 to 29, the lockdown reduced NO2 levels by about 40%, and from March 30 to April 23, by 55% over urban areas on average.

BSC calls on the European Commission to promote mechanisms to assess the ethical risks of AI

BSC urges the European Commission (EC) to promote efficient mechanisms that help assess the ethical risks of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. BSC has submitted a specific statement to the EC after it has published the "White Paper on Artificial Intelligence", aimed at raising a European ecosystem of excellence and trust in AI.

BSC supports and collaborates in the Spanish candidacy to host the ECMWF in Barcelona

BSC and AEMET are collaborating with the Spanish government to prepare a Spanish candidacy for Barcelona to host the third facility of European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. ECMWF headquarters are located in Reading and its data centre is located in Bologna. Decision about the selection of the location of the third facility will be taken by ECMWF Council in December this year.

The MareNostrum supercomputer can be visited virtually

In order to facilitate access to the MareNostrum supercomputer and publicize the research being carried out, BSC has enabled the virtual tour of the facility. This experience will allow access to all the corners of the space where MareNostrum is located and in addition the tour includes information points where the characteristics of the supercomputer and the research carried out at BSC are explained with text, images or videos.

MareNostrum will generate a language model in Spanish based on digital contents from the National Library

The supercomputer has already started to receive a vast amount of data from the Web archive of the National Library of Spain, which will be the base to generate a model of the Spanish language. MareNostrum will process this data to generate language models through natural language processing technologies.

A patient gene expression similarity approach leads to new perspectives in disease comorbidity

A study led by BSC suggests that specific patient characteristics (such as gene expression) can be important factors in the development of clinical strategies to treat and manage comorbidities. The work, which goes one step further by investigating comorbidities at the molecular level for hundreds of diseases and thousands of patients, has been published in Nature Communications.

The creation of text mining and AI tools could advance biomaterials research and development

The application of text mining technologies will increase the ability to extract information from the growing biomaterials literature, and deep learning tools will help to identify implicit links between substantiated information, as well as make predictions and recommendations. BSC researchers participate in the article published in Nature Review Materials magazine.

Sex and gender biases turn AI into a double-edged sword

The success of precision medicine largely depends on overcoming a number of challenges, many of which are inherently related to the responsible use of AI in research and healthcare. A study led by BSC alerts that to meet these ambitious objectives, it is essential to account for the risks of neglecting differences among individuals that reflect the clinical characteristics of diseases and drugs response, such as sex and gender differences.

BSC releases COMPSs version 2.7

This release includes some extensions for IO intensive applications: a new type of I/O tasks that can be overlapped with computational tasks, and a storage bandwidth constraint that enable to restrict the number of tasks using intensive I/O at the same time. This new distribution comes also with the PyCOMPSs-player, a tool to deploy and control a container-based PyCOMPSs/COMPSs environment ready to develop and test PyCOMPSs/COMPS applications.

BSC releases OmpSs-2 version 2020.06

The Programming Models group has published a new release (version 2020.06) of the OmpSs-2 programming model. In this release, several new major features have been added such as a compiler based on LLVM, an integrated tracing tool, and support for OpenACC kernels. Moreover, the scheduler infrastructure, the memory allocator and the discrete dependency system have been optimized to improve performance and scalability of OmpSs-2 applications on many-core systems.

BSC works on proactive solutions for timing and reliability in HPC systems in the project RECIPE

BSC has developed a solution to predict the highest execution time of HPC applications on supercomputers and data centres, with either homogeneous or heterogeneous architectures, leveraging its experience on time predictability for critical real-time embedded systems. This solution has crystallized into a flexible and portable tool presented as part of a Special issue on Supercomputing and Mathematics of the prestigious open journal MDPI Mathematics.

EPEEC releases Programming Guidelines for Parallel Applications

The European project EPEEC, coordinated by BSC, has reached an important milestone with the publication of its Programming Guidelines for Parallel Applications. These recommendations are relevant to application developers interested in high productivity, as they are aimed at facilitating the compilers’ work and improving the applications’ performance in terms of execution time.

Scientific team tracks deserts to decipher dust and its effects on climate

A group of researchers, led by BSC, is carrying out expeditions to deserts around the world with the aim of collecting diverse data that will allow better understanding and quantifying the global composition of airborne desert dust, and its effect upon climate. These campaigns will be particularly important to improve our presently incomplete understanding of the physical processes of dust emission.

Coming up
09 JUL 2020 RDA Spain Webinar Location: Online
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