Welcome to the Fall 2018 Edition of Science Highlights.
Putting Neutrinos on Ice
Identification of Cosmic-Ray Source by IceCube Neutrino Observatory Depended on Global Collaboration, PSC’s Bridges
Four billion years ago—before the first life had developed on Earth—a massive black hole shot a proton out at nearly the speed of light. A result of this cosmic catapult was the creation of a neutrino, a strange, tiny particle lighter than any other known type of matter.
“Sticky and Loose Ends” Shed Light on Heart Health
Anton 2 Shows how APOA1 Protein Ends Link to Hold Together “the Good Cholesterol”
Until recently, scientists couldn’t agree how the protein APOA1 holds together the “good cholesterol” that protects us from heart disease.
Function Follows Form
Bridges Simulations plus Lab Work on Frog Neuromuscular Junction Sheds Light on Human Diseases
When a nerve cell passes a message to its neighbors, it must do so via chemicals sent across the synapse—a small space between the cells. Early researchers studied a synapse called the frog neuromuscular junction (NMJ) because it is large and easy to work with.
Testing the Footing
Bridges Helps Univ. of Chicago Team Simulate Cell Movement, Upending Scientific Expectations
The movement of white blood cells to fight infections and the spread of cancer cells both rely on the same natural process. The cell reaches out to a new surface with a lamellipodium—a kind of tiny foot that tests the surface like we’d test ice before stepping onto it.
When Winds Get Rough
PSC Experts and Resources Enable Simulation of Non-steady Forces on Wind Turbines
Rough winds are an issue for generating electricity from wind power. They can cause early failure of turbine components that limit the method’s monetary bottom line. Researchers formerly at Penn State University, working with real wind-turbine data from GE Global Research and with the help of PSC experts, used high-performance computers at PSC and its partners in XSEDE to simulate the wind loads driving a 1.5-MW GE wind turbine.
World’s Tiniest Test Tubes in Alzheimer’s Protein Simulation
University of Pennsylvania Team Uses PSC Systems to Explain Puzzling Lab Results
The progressive memory loss of Alzheimer’s disease is devastating. Doctors have known for more than 100 years that plaques of clumped-together protein form in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
CMU Group Uses PSC’s Bridges to Nail Down Cause in Brain Region Activity
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures brain activity as it happens. But on the surface, it’s hard to tell whether activity in one part of the brain is caused by activity in another, or whether their apparent relationship is a coincidence.
PSC News in Brief