Science on the Grid: e-Science projects deliver for science, industry and engineering


Issued by EPSRC on behalf of the UK e-Science Programme

Six major projects to ensure that new e-Science technologies meet the needs of real scientific users are now finishing. Their achievements include:

  • the discovery of new genes;
  • a quiet revolution in the way new drugs are discovered;
  • the largest simulation of materials at the molecular level ever undertaken;
  • the streamlining of a chemical service;
  • an efficient way of pooling engineering design expertise;
  • the demonstration of new ways of keeping tabs on aircraft maintenance.

Various outputs of the projects, which were funded by the EPSRC, will be demonstrated and discussed at the e-Science All Hands conference in Nottingham next week. The projects' achievements are also outlined in a new brochure to be published by the EPSRC at the All Hands conference.

Discovery Net and myGrid are helping researchers to cope with and make best use of the data deluge now engulfing them. myGrid has become the bioinformaticians's tool for extracting information and knowledge from the wealth of data now stored in databases all over the world, often in incompatible formats. It enabled researchers to identify genes for Graves' Disease and Williams-Beuren Syndrome.

Discovery Net is enabling researchers to cope with the time-critical data generated by high throughput devices. Several major pharmaceutical companies are using an output of the project to extract knowledge about potential new drugs from the data generated by these devices. Researchers in geohazard modelling and systems biology are also among those using DiscoveryNet outputs.

CombeChem has shown that Grid computing can transform the way in which chemistry is done, from the writing of a laboratory notebook to the publication of data and results. The National Crystallographic Service has adopted its methods and other EPSRC-funded chemistry services are developing plans to do so.

RealityGrid has developed Grid technologies to steer and view near real-time simulations of complex condensed matter systems, for example oil invading water-saturated rock or the development of a liquid crystalline gyroid phase. The project demonstrated the largest simulation of its kind by harnessing the resources of the UK National Grid Service (NGS) and the US Teragrid. Reality Grid simulations are revealing new insights into several scientific problems and so guiding the design of future experiments. The technologies are being taken up by several other leading-edge e-Science projects.

Geodise and DAME have developed tools for the engineer. Geodise enables design engineers to share knowledge by working in virtual organisations with access to widely distributed software, computing power and databases. The technology has been demonstrated in several engineering applications, for example aircraft wing design and is being taken forward in real applications.

DAME has demonstrated the use of Grid technologies to make sense of the vast amount of data returned by sensors on aircraft engines during flight. DAME technology is now being further developed for use by real aircraft maintenance crews.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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