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ACCRE contributes over 500,000 hours of CPU time to COVID-19 research through Open Science Grid

Posted by on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 in Website.

ACCRE has contributed over 500,000 compute core hours to research on COVID-19 through our involvement in the Open Science Grid, a consortium of over 100 universities and research labs who work together on complex computing jobs. As of June 5, Vanderbilt ranks in the top 10 institutions contributing to the effort, and the highest-ranked institution in the Southeast.

For years, the Open Science Grid has given researchers access to billions of hours of computing time distributed throughout its consortium. Originally designed to manage data from the Large Hadron Collider experiment, the Open Science Grid has tackled research in dark energy, neuroscience, and molecular science. It has contributed to the discovery of gravitational waves in 2017 using data from the LIGO experiment, which earned its researchers a Nobel Prize that year.

Currently, the bulk of the computing time for this effort is being provided to Folding@home, a crowd-sourced protein folding application that anyone can participate by running the software on their computers in the background. It was originally designed to understand the protein folding mechanisms that could be used to treat cancer, infectious diseases, and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. With new projects to investigate COVID-19, Folding@home has gotten so much interest among its users that it achieved a computing power of 2.4 exaflops, faster than the top 500 supercomputers in the world combined.

Additional computing time is being donated to research efforts with Das Lab at Stanford UniversityBonvin Lab at Utrecht University, and Andrew Chapple at Louisiana State University.

ACCRE and Open Science Grid’s efforts are part of a larger trend in high-performance computing among industry, academia, Department of Energy national labs, NSF facilities, and NASA to conduct research in COVID-19.

More information about Open Science Grid’s support for COVID-19 research is available here.

This post will be updated with the latest statistics from Open Science Grid. Last update June 5.

A version of this article appeared in MyVU.

Image source: Science Node