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COVID-19 research news

Universities and research institutions around the world are devoting their scientific knowledge and computing resources to confront the global pandemic. Researchers are joining together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and quickly discover effective treatments and prevention methods. On this page, we're tracking those efforts.

May 15

The Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Perfomance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research will be be awarded in 2020 and 2021. The $10,000 award will recognize outstanding research achievement towards the understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic through the use of high-performance computing (HPC). Teams may apply by October 8, 2020. 

May 14

The COVID-19 Drug Discovery Consortium brings together an international team of computational scientists, chemists, and virologists to rapidly identify drug-like molecules that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication. The new effort builds upon the existing Drug Discovery @ TACC portal developed by the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to computationally test millions of potential drug candidates. 

May 13

A new collection of international COVID-19 related datasets open for research can be accessed at the Harvard University Dataverse repository. Datasets include cases by country as well as information on food access and security, social ties and mobility, attitudes and practices, and more. 

May 8

The Cheyenne supercomputer has joined the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium. Operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Cheyenne is one of the world's leading supercomputers for Earth system sciences. Its 5.34 petaflop speed will now be available to scientists across the country working to gain insight into the novel coronavirus. 

April 30

A new method to accurately track the spread of COVID-19 uses population flow data to establish a new risk assessment model to identify high-risk locales. This research, led by the Univeristy of Hong Kong, could could help public health experts implementing infectious disease control during new outbreaks. 

April 24

In the US, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is performing essential research on the atomic structure of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and how it interacts with potential treatments and vaccines. In particular, scientists at SLAC are using x-ray crystallography to study the spike protein on the surface of the virus. The resulting detailed images of where each atom of the protein is located will be used to create 3D maps that can help designers of targeted interventions. 

April 23

An existing AI for Healthy Living study of healthy aging and the human microbiome will transition to COVID-19 research. A collaboration between IBM and the University of California San Diego, the study will now apply machine learning techniques to decode the biology behind the SARS-CoV-2 virus by collecting and analyzing samples, assemble molecular data on samples, and incorporate that with insights extracted via natural-language processing from COVID-19 related literature. 

April 22

The World Health Organization (WHO) has implemeted a data sharing and reporting protocol called COVID19-OPEN, to encourage researchers to share data as quickly and widely as possible. 

April 21

NCI Australia and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre are supporting COVID-19 research through provision of streamlined, prioritized, and expedited access to computation and data resources at both national facilities. Three projects have been awarded so far involving large-scale molecular dynamics for rational drug design, structure-based drug discovery, and targeting structural transitions in the COVID fusion protein. 

April 20

The Singapore National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) has issued a special Call for Projects from now until September 2020. This CFP applies to any researcherers in Singapore to aid their work on any effort related to COVID-19, such as studies of the virus genome and potential new therapies or vaccines. Successful applications get fast-tracked approval and a priority queue for access to supercomputing resources. 

This year's 3rd annual APAC HPC-AI competition will task student teams to research, find, and choose and HPC or AI application that can be used against COVID-19. They must also tune and accelerate NAMD, a molecular dynamics code being used at various supercomputing sites to run massive simulations of COVID-19 for drug and vaccine design. The competition aims to educate and train the next generation of HPC scientists and programmers to help with future viral outbreaks. Teams may register until May 17. 

April 17

MIT's SOLVE is offering over $1.5 million in prize funding to successful applications to their 2020 Global Challenges, including Health Security and Pandemics. They seek "tech innovations that can slow and track the spread of an emerging outbreak...by improving individual hygiene, developing low-cost rapid diagnostics, analyzing data that informs decision making, and providing tools that support and protect health workers." Solutions for preventative measures, surveillance, and supply chain improvements are also welcome. Deadline to submit is June 18, 2020.

April 16

Scientists from the University of New Mexico and Los Alamos National Laboratory are using advanced computing to study the genetic variations of SARS-CoV-2. By sequencing the genome of samples taken from positive case, the team is tracking mutations in the virus. Looking at which genetic variations of SARS-CoV-2 appear in specific locations can answer questions about how the virus is spreading. 

April 13

Five projects have been awarded under the PRACE Fast Track Call for Proposals to contribute to the mitigation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Totaling more than 130 million core hours on the supercomputing systems Joliot-Curie in France, MareNostrum in Spain, and Piz Daint in Switzerland, this research will investigate mechanisms of viral infection and potential areas for treatments and protection against SARS-CoV-2. 

April 9

The Tableau COVID-19 Data Hub offers resources for visualizing and analyzing coronavirus data. A jumpstart workbook comes pre-loaded with COVID-19 outbreak data sourced from Johns Hopkins University. Blend your own data with the JHU dataset to customize. A gallery features visualizations created by community partners, tracking health impacts at the country, state, and regional level as well as economic indicators such as auto sales, retail closures, and mobility trends.

Build your own solution. IBM's 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge has expanded to focus on COVID-19. Grab a starter kit for crisis communication, remote education, or community cooperation and get to work. Initial submissions are due April 27 and the top 3 will be announced in early May, but additional submissions may be made through July 31. 

April 7

Japan's new supercomputer Fugaku was not due to be fully operational until 2021, but a portion of its computational resources will be made immediately available for COVID-19-related projects. These priority projects include exploring new drug candidates, revealing characteristics of the new coronavirus, improving diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, and seeking insights into the spread of infections and its impact.

April 6

Georgia State University has made a dataset of more then 140 million tweets publicly available to the global research community. The dataset will allow researchers to study the spread of disinformation, changes in population behaviors, and the effects of social distancing. The dataset begins with March 11, 2020 and will be updated every two days.

Some people closely follow public guidelines to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, while others ignore them. To find out why, the NSF has awarded the University of Connecticut a RAPID grant to study how behavior and social attitudes change, and what factors influence those changes, when people are faced with the threat of widespread disease.

April 2

The Allen Institute for AI and a coalition of leading research groups have prepared the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). This is a resource of over 45,000 scholarly articles about COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and related coronaviruses. CORD-19 is provided to the global research community to apply natural language processing and other AI techniques to generate new insights in support of the fight against the disease. The corpus will be updated weekly with new research. CADRE (Collaborative Archive & Data Research Environment) offers a fellowship program for working with this data. 

April 1

The C3.ai Digital Institute is combining the efforts of researchers from top universities and companies to use machine learning to discover new ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus. A first call for proposals for AI Techniques to Mitigate Pandemic will issue awards of $100,000 - $500,000 each, up to $5.8 million. Recipients receive access to the C3 AI Suite, Microsoft Azure cloud platform and the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Illinois. Deadline May 1, 2020.

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) now provides researchers access to China's National Genomics Data Center COVID-19 Database. Ready access to this important dataset will enable researchers to better understand the COVID-19 virus. The data will be hosted on PSC's Bridges platform, optimized for the necessary big data analysis.

This dashboard shows projected hospital resource use (at the national and state-by-state levels) based on COVID-19 deaths, assuming social distancing continues through the end of May 2020. From the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

March 27

DoE expands on role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium
(via HPCWire)

March 26

The University of Arizona Health Scienes Biorepository is improving the ability to test widely for COVID-19 by producing specimen collection kits. Lack of collection kits, specifically swabs and the medium in which samples aree collected are contributing to the bottleneck in widespread testing. Working from a formula provided by the CDC, researchers at UA’s BIO5 Institute manufactured enough media for 1600 specimen kits in just one weekend. UA expects to produce up to 7000 kits by the end of the week.

March 25

The COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium brings together US federal government, industry, and academic leaders to volunteer free compute time on world-class supercomputers to advance scientific knowledge about the coronavirus. The consortium currently provides 16 supercomputing systems, representing over 330 petaflops, 775,000 CPU cores, and 34,000 GPUs. Researchers may submit proposals via this online portal.

March 24

PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, is fast-tracking approval of proposals for projects requesting computing resources to contribute to mitigating the impact of COVID-19. Academic and industry researchers in Europe are eligible to apply for resources at seven supercomputing centres throughout Europe, including on #6-ranked Piz Daint supercomputer at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre in Switzerland.

March 23

This dashboard shows state-by-state measures taken to slow the progress of COVID-19 within the US. Created by Indiana University Crisis Technologies Innovation Lab at the request of several local and national agencies 

March 18

TACC supercomputers Stampede2 and Comet complete simulations pertinent to coronavirus and DNA replication

March 5

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have used Summit, the world’s most powerful and smartest supercomputer, to identify 77 small-molecule drug compounds that might warrant further study in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is responsible for the COVID-19 disease outbreak.

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