Featured Image Source: NASA
All over the world, researchers are trying to find a treatment and vaccine for COVID-19, the Coronavirus strain that has rapidly spread worldwide. Governments from around the world have asked their citizens to stay home and practice social-distancing to try to slow down the spread of Coronavirus among communities. It is the only way we all could provide doctors, nurses, scientists, epidemiologists, and researchers - vital time - needed to figure out how to treat the virus. The entire world is scrambling to save lives and find a solution.
This morning (March 23), the United States of America announced it is launching the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, a new initiative that will give all researchers from around the planet access to the world’s most powerful supercomputers.
Supercomputers are capable of performing thousands of simulations quickly, to "advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the virus." Some computers even feature Artificial Intelligence capabilities that can offer quick insight to solve problems. The United States Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said in a press release:
"America is coming together to fight COVID-19, and that means unleashing the full capacity of our world-class supercomputers to rapidly advance scientific research for treatments and a vaccine. We thank the private sector and academic leaders who are joining the federal government as part of the Trump Administration’s whole-of-America response."
To combat the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, researchers must have all the tools needed to understand the complexity of the virus and how it affects human biology, as well as run-through epidemiological data and make calculations in the quickest way possible. Supercomputers will be a great asset for researchers to obtain more knowledge and develop a potential treatment and/or vaccine.
NASA, the U.S. space agency, is joining the effort to look for potential treatment and vaccine for COVID-19 by providing access to its supercomputers. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated:
"I’m proud that NASA is lending our supercomputing expertise to assist in the global fight against COVID-19. For more than six decades the agency has used its expertise to take on challenges that have benefited people worldwide in unexpected ways."
I’m proud that @NASA is lending our supercomputing expertise to assist in the global fight against COVID-19. For more than six decades the agency has used its expertise to take on challenges that have benefited people worldwide in unexpected ways. More: https://t.co/C2Qd8wbJCg— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) March 23, 2020
According to the Science Mission Directorate head, Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's Earth science division is now directing its computing power to Coronavirus research. He explains, "Researchers input satellite data to run climate models to predict Earth's future climate. NASA is pleased to lend our supercomputing expertise to assist in the global fight against COVID-19."
The White House's statement details that medical researchers can apply for time to use NASA's super computers, to help speed-up all the calculations necessary to slow the pandemic.
"Researchers are invited to submit COVID-19 related research proposals to the consortium via the online portal which will then be reviewed and matched with computing resources from one of the partner institutions. An expert panel of top scientists and computing researchers will work with proposers to quickly assess the public health benefit of the work and coordinate the allocation of the group’s powerful computing assets."
Other technology companies and universities that are also providing their computing resources under the U.S. COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium include:
Amazon Web Services
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories
Argonne National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Sandia National Laboratories
National Science Foundation
Author's note: Don't Panic. We are all in this together. For accurate information about COVID-19 visit: CDC.gov/coronavirus