23
Apr
2014

The importance of moving data can’t be underestimated. In a time of increasingly far-flung scientific collaborations, advanced instruments, and rapidly ballooning datasets, getting data from point A to point B can be the primary brake on the speed of discovery. But once the data reaches its destination, there’s still much to be done, and many tasks that can be accelerated using cloud-based cyberinfrastructure: sharing data securely, analyzing it, even publishing datasets for other scientists to use and build upon.

16
Apr
2014

The explosion of data across disciplines has opened up vast new possibilities for scientific discovery. But many researchers do not yet have access to the advanced infrastructure needed to work with Big Data and realize its full potential. With new support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Globus can expand its mission to bring the advanced data management infrastructure used by massive science collaborations to small laboratories and individual researchers around the world. The foundation’s $500,000 grant will help Globus, part of the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, evolve from a free service to a sustainable non-profit model serving hundreds of thousands of resource providers, scientists, educators, and students.

10
Apr
2014

Through civic hacking events and open data portals, the Obama administration has embraced the potential of data and programming to improve the performance of government for its citizens. As academia and industry increasingly moves toward using computational techniques to inform policy decisions, these more ambitious efforts have also attracted the attention of the White House. On April 4th, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) convened a panel called “Analytical Techniques to Improve Public Policy Decision-Making” at their regular meeting, inviting CI Senior Fellow Charlie Catlett and three other experts to report on the promise of this young research area.

08
Apr
2014

In the era of “Big Data”-based science, accessing and sharing of data plays a key role for scientific collaboration and research. The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, has implemented  a new feature of the Globus software that will allow researchers using the Center’s computational and storage resources to easily and securely access and share large data sets with colleagues. ​SDSC is the first supercomputer center in the National Science Foundation’s XSEDE (eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) program to offer the new and unique Globus sharing service. 

07
Apr
2014

It’s a short question, but a massive one: How will climate change impact Chicago? Scientific studies and climate models tell us that climate change is happening, and make broad forecasts about how different the Earth’s climate will be over the next century. But when it comes to making specific predictions about how climate change will affect the lives of people in a particular city, today’s models don’t provide any clear answers.

01
Apr
2014

A new analysis of nearly 4 million scientific articles finds that research is disproportionately focused on diseases that primarily afflict wealthy countries. Correspondingly, less research attention is given to diseases of the developing world, increasing global health disparities, concludes the study from the CI's Knowledge Lab, published in PLoS ONE.

01
Apr
2014

Each year, Chicago Magazine hands out their Green Awards to a select sample of Chicagoans with original ideas for preserving the Earth's future. Among the six 2014 winners profiled in the magazine's April issue was University of Chicago atmospheric scientist Elizabeth Moyer, co-director of the CI's Center for Robust Decision Making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP).

26
Mar
2014

The interaction between proteins and small molecule ligands is often described as akin to a lock and key. The complex, three-dimensional geometry of a protein’s structure creates selective and unique binding sites that are only accessible to certain molecules positioned in just the right way. To discover new drugs that can ward off a bacterial infection or silence a renegade ion channel, scientists have to first determine the protein’s structure (the shape of the “lock”) and then test millions of molecules to find the right “key.”

25
Mar
2014

Many building owners today are looking at green retrofitting options to lower energy demand and costs. From single-family homes to skyscrapers, upgrades such as installing more efficient HVAC systems, installing new windows or green roofs, or switching to low-energy light bulbs can lower utility bills and, in many cases, eventually pay for themselves. A whole industry of energy consultants now helps owners plan for their retrofit, and scientists have created computer models to estimate a building’s energy demands and savings under different scenarios.

21
Mar
2014

The second half of our Particles to Cosmos-themed Inside The Discovery Cloud event increased the scale dramatically from viruses to the entire known universe. Katrin Heitmann, an astrophysicist and CI Senior Fellow at Argonne, studies the expansion of the universe, running the largest cosmological simulations ever performed on Argonne's Mira supercomputer. The results of the models provide important references for astronomers using advanced telescopes to search the sky for evidence of elusive dark energy and dark matter.