Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2013-11-04

The Cloud

Clustrix announces industry's first scale-out database for real-time analytics on live operational data ...

IDC MarketScape names DataDirect Networks a leader in object-based storage market ...

George Washington School of Engineering and Applied Science receives grant to improve Cloud computing reliability ...

Calxeda announces new fabric-­based platform for Clouds ...

Securing data for Cloud computing ...

Expensify selects Oracle Sales Cloud to empower growing sales team ...

Baylor, DNAnexus, Amazon Web Services collaboration enables largest-ever Cloud-based analysis of genomic data ...

Red Hat launches new initiative to drive enterprise adoption of OpenStack ...

SoftLayer, an IBM company, and Cloudera launch turnkey Big Data solutions on bare metal servers ...

CANCOM accelerates client innovation through the Cloud with IBM PureSystems ...

European managed services provider taps IBM Flash for faster Cloud solutions ...

Desktop Grids

New Virtual Team to promote Desktop Grids among the EGI scientific communities ...

New BoincTasks version release issued ...

Remotis Technologies achieves milestone with World Community Grid ...

EuroFlash

N8 supercomputer tracks first dinosaur steps in over 90 million years ...

Cray expands research and development in Europe ...

Points north: the future on display in Lithuania ...

Points north: the future on display in Lithuania - Part II ...

New California Energy Commission study validates energy savings of Asetek RackCDU for data centres ...

PRACE event "HPC@Horizon2020" rallies support for "Supercomputers for all" ...

PRACE Winter School 2014 to be held in Tel Aviv, Israel ...

New insight into the Earth's deep interior ...

The ALiX project provides Tenerife with Teide-HPC, the second most powerful supercomputer in Spain ...

New material for quantum computing discovered out of the blue ...

USFlash

National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) drives major scientific discoveries with powerful, converged, site-wide storage from DataDirect Networks ...

RainStor delivers Hadoop on EMC Isilon NAS for efficient Big Data management ...

HP helps Johnson Memorial Hospital deliver high-quality patient care ...

N8 supercomputer tracks first dinosaur steps in over 90 million years


Dr. Bill Sellers, University of Manchester
31 Oct 2013 Newcastle upon Tyne - Scientists at the University of Manchester have used Polaris, the N8 Research Partnership High Performance Computing (N8 HPC) facility, to simulate for the first time ever how one of the world's largest dinosaurs would have walked.

The analysis has revealed that Argentinosaurus, which weighed more than 80 tonnes, would have walked with a slow steady gait. The research, published inPLOS ONE, is important for understanding more about musculo-skeletal systems since all vertebrates, from dinosaurs to humans to fish, all share the same basic muscles, bones and joints.

N8 HPC, which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), provides a high performance computing facility service for the Universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York - an established collaboration known as the N8 Research Partnership - and industry partners. Capable of a peak performance of 110 trillion operations per second - the approximate equivalent to half a million iPads - it enables academic and private sector researchers to build more realistic models involving large amounts of data and to undertake more complex analyses in many research fields, including life sciences, energy, digital media and aerospace.

Dr. Bill Sellers, lead researcher on the project from the University of Manchester, Faculty of Life Sciences, stated: "If you want to work out how dinosaurs walked, the best approach is computer simulation. This is the only way of bringing together all the different strands of information we have on this dinosaur so that we can reconstruct how it once moved. To understand how muscles, bones and joints function, we can compare how they are used in different animals. Argentinosaurus is the biggest animal that ever walked on the surface of the earth and understanding how it did this will tell us a lot about the maximum performance of the vertebrate musculo-skeletal system. We need to know more about this to understand how it functions in ourselves. Similarly, if we want to build better legged robots then we need to know more about the mechanics of legs in a whole range of animals, and nothing has bigger, more powerful legs than Argentinosaurus."

The GBP 3.25 million N8 HPC facility is a Tier 2 SGI 5,000+ core high performance computing cluster, with 332 compute nodes. Each node has two of the latest generation Intel E5-2670 'Sandy Bridge' processors and these nodes have a capacity of 320 GigaFLOPS. By using a Mellanox QDR InfiniBand interconnect to join all of Polaris' nodes together, a peak performance of 110 TeraFLOPS is possible, making it one of the 250 most powerful computers in the world.

Dr. Lee Margetts of the University of Manchester Research Computing Services, stated: "Access to the N8 HPC system was a critical factor that enabled the team to finish the research in time for thePLOS ONESpecial Collection on Sauropods. Timing is important as this collection is likely to be the 'de facto' international reference for Sauropods for decades to come. The researchers report that they were very impressed by the system as their software ran twice as fast on N8HPC than HECToR, when using the same number of cores."

The team of scientists also included Dr. Rodolfo Coria from Carmen Funes Museum, Plaza Huincal, Argentina, who was behind the first physical reconstruction of this dinosaur that takes its name from the country where it was found. Dr. Phil Manning, from Manchester who also contributed to the paper, stated: "It is frustrating there was so little of the original dinosaur fossilized, making any reconstruction difficult. The digitization of such vast dinosaur skeletons using laser scanners brings 'Walking with Dinosaurs' to life ... this is science not just animation."

The University of Manchester team now plans to use the same method to recreate the steps of other dinosaurs including Triceratops, Brachiosaurus and T.Rex.

The paper has been published inPLOS ONE(Public Library of Science) on 30 October by Sellers W.I., Margetts L., Coria R.A., Manning P.L. The paper is titled "March of the Titans: The Locomotor Capabilities of Sauropod Dinosaurs" - PLoS ONE 8(10): e78733. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078733. More information is available at: http://www.rac.manchester.ac.uk/?p=469#sthash.L2yjED9b.dpuf

Source: N8 Research Partnership

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2013-11-04

The Cloud

Clustrix announces industry's first scale-out database for real-time analytics on live operational data ...

IDC MarketScape names DataDirect Networks a leader in object-based storage market ...

George Washington School of Engineering and Applied Science receives grant to improve Cloud computing reliability ...

Calxeda announces new fabric-­based platform for Clouds ...

Securing data for Cloud computing ...

Expensify selects Oracle Sales Cloud to empower growing sales team ...

Baylor, DNAnexus, Amazon Web Services collaboration enables largest-ever Cloud-based analysis of genomic data ...

Red Hat launches new initiative to drive enterprise adoption of OpenStack ...

SoftLayer, an IBM company, and Cloudera launch turnkey Big Data solutions on bare metal servers ...

CANCOM accelerates client innovation through the Cloud with IBM PureSystems ...

European managed services provider taps IBM Flash for faster Cloud solutions ...

Desktop Grids

New Virtual Team to promote Desktop Grids among the EGI scientific communities ...

New BoincTasks version release issued ...

Remotis Technologies achieves milestone with World Community Grid ...

EuroFlash

N8 supercomputer tracks first dinosaur steps in over 90 million years ...

Cray expands research and development in Europe ...

Points north: the future on display in Lithuania ...

Points north: the future on display in Lithuania - Part II ...

New California Energy Commission study validates energy savings of Asetek RackCDU for data centres ...

PRACE event "HPC@Horizon2020" rallies support for "Supercomputers for all" ...

PRACE Winter School 2014 to be held in Tel Aviv, Israel ...

New insight into the Earth's deep interior ...

The ALiX project provides Tenerife with Teide-HPC, the second most powerful supercomputer in Spain ...

New material for quantum computing discovered out of the blue ...

USFlash

National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) drives major scientific discoveries with powerful, converged, site-wide storage from DataDirect Networks ...

RainStor delivers Hadoop on EMC Isilon NAS for efficient Big Data management ...

HP helps Johnson Memorial Hospital deliver high-quality patient care ...