June 16, 2011
Researchers at the University of Washinton’s Baker Laboratory have tapped into Microsoft’s Azure cloud to get a better handle on protein structures and how they fold. This can have important implications for understanding how to identify, treat and possibly cure diseases like cancer, malaria, and even salmonella poisoning.
This project was undertaken as a “collaboration between Dennis Gannon in the Microsoft Research Extreme Computing Group who supplied the needed Windows Azure resources via Gannon’s cloud computing research engagement project” said Nikolas Sgourakis, a researcher at Baker Lab.
Sgourakis has developed an algorithm to help him understand how salmonella attacks the body and what role proteins are altered with the toxic introduction. He was able to run the algorithm through 2.5 million calculations in under a week to verify that the system he devised would work. He is currently working on calculating the base properties of salmonella.
Sgourakis notes that in order to conduct this type of research before,it would have taken an incredibly powerful system or would have required thousands of shared hours as a volunteer computing project. The researchers at Baker have already made use of a number of grid computing tools like Rosetta@Home, FoldIt and others, but Sgourakis says that their time to solutions are happening far faster by tapping into the cloud.
Frank Ding, engineering analysis & technical computing manager at Simpson Strong-Tie, discussed the advantages of utilizing the cloud for occasional scientific computing, identified the obstacles to doing so, and proposed workarounds to some of those obstacles.
The private industry least likely to adopt public cloud services for data storage are financial institutions. Holding the most sensitive and heavily-regulated of data types, personal financial information, banks and similar institutions are mostly moving towards private cloud services – and doing so at great cost.
In this week's hand-picked assortment, researchers explore the path to more energy-efficient cloud datacenters, investigate new frameworks and runtime environments that are compatible with Windows Azure, and design a uniﬁed programming model for diverse data-intensive cloud computing paradigms.
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04/02/2012 | AMD | Developers today are just beginning to explore the potential of heterogeneous computing, but the potential for this new paradigm is huge. This brief article reviews how the technology might impact a range of application development areas, including client experiences and cloud-based data management. As platforms like OpenCL continue to evolve, the benefits of heterogeneous computing will become even more accessible. Use this quick article to jump-start your own thinking on heterogeneous computing.