Data Science in the News

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Making machine learning safer for biomedicine

Aug. 15, 2023 - 
It’s hard to understate the impact machine learning will have on biomedicine. The ability to train computers to spot patterns by analyzing large, complex datasets is driving discoveries in heart disease, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and more. For instance, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) has used machine learning to aid cancer research and accelerate COVID-19 antiviral discovery. One...

High-performance computing, AI and cognitive simulation helped LLNL conquer fusion ignition

June 21, 2023 - 
For hundreds of LLNL scientists on the design, experimental, and modeling and simulation teams behind inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments at the National Ignition Facility, the results of the now-famous Dec. 5, 2022, ignition shot didn’t come as a complete surprise. The “crystal ball” that gave them increased pre-shot confidence in a breakthrough involved a combination of detailed...

Patent applies machine learning to industrial control systems

May 8, 2023 - 
An industrial control system (ICS) is an automated network of devices that make up a complex industrial process. For example, a large-scale electrical grid may contain thousands of instruments, sensors, and controls that transfer and distribute power, along with computing systems that capture data transmitted across these devices. Monitoring the ICS network for new device connections, device...

Computing codes, simulations helped make ignition possible

April 6, 2023 - 
Harkening back to the genesis of LLNL’s inertial confinement fusion (ICF) program, codes have played an essential role in simulating the complex physical processes that take place in an ICF target and the facets of each experiment that must be nearly perfect. Many of these processes are too complicated, expensive, or even impossible to predict through experiments alone. With only a few...

Scientists develop model for more efficient simulations of protein interactions linked to cancer

March 28, 2023 - 
LLNL scientists have developed a theoretical model for more efficient molecular-level simulations of cell membranes and their lipid-protein interactions, part of a multi-institutional effort to better understand the behavior of cancer-causing membrane proteins. Developed under an ongoing collaboration by the Department of Energy and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) aimed at modeling cell...

Supercomputing’s critical role in the fusion ignition breakthrough

Dec. 21, 2022 - 
On December 5th, the research team at LLNL's National Ignition Facility (NIF) achieved a historic win in energy science: for the first time ever, more energy was produced by an artificial fusion reaction than was consumed—3.15 megajoules produced versus 2.05 megajoules in laser energy to cause the reaction. High-performance computing was key to this breakthrough (called ignition), and HPCwire...

National Ignition Facility achieves fusion ignition

Dec. 13, 2022 - 
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the achievement of fusion ignition at LLNL—a major scientific breakthrough decades in the making that will pave the way for advancements in national defense and the future of clean power. On Dec. 5, a team at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) conducted the first controlled...

Scientific discovery for stockpile stewardship

Sept. 27, 2022 - 
Among the significant scientific discoveries that have helped ensure the reliability of the nation’s nuclear stockpile is the advancement of cognitive simulation. In cognitive simulation, researchers are developing AI/ML algorithms and software to retrain part of this model on the experimental data itself. The result is a model that “knows the best of both worlds,” says Brian Spears, a...

S&TR cover story: The ACES in our hand

Sept. 20, 2022 - 
Uranium enrichment is central to providing fuel to nuclear reactors, even those intended only for power generation. With minor modifications, however, this process can be altered to yield highly enriched uranium for use in nuclear weapons. The world’s need for nuclear fuel coexists with an ever-present danger—that a nonnuclear weapons nation-state possessing enrichment technology could...

Lab researchers win top award for machine learning-based approach to ICF experiments

Aug. 4, 2022 - 
The IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS) announced an LLNL team as the winner of its 2022 Transactions on Plasma Science Best Paper Award for their work applying machine learning to inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments. In the paper, lead author Kelli Humbird and co-authors propose a novel technique for calibrating ICF experiments by combining machine learning with...

LLNL cancer research goes exascale

July 20, 2022 - 
An LLNL team will be among the first researchers to perform work on the world’s first exascale supercomputer—Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Frontier—when they use the system to model cancer-causing protein mutations. Led by Harsh Bhatia, a computer scientist in the Center of Applied Computing at LLNL, the team was awarded limited access to Frontier under the DOE's Advanced Scientific...

Panel discussion spotlights COVID-19 R&D

July 19, 2022 - 
The DSI’s career panel series continued on June 28 to highlight some of LLNL’s COVID-19 research projects. Three data scientists—Emilia Grzesiak, Derek Jones, and Priyadip Ray—joined moderator and data scientist Stewart He to talk about their work in drug screening, protein–drug compounds, antibody–antigen sequence analysis, and risk factor identification. He, who earned a PhD in Computer...

UC Merced students work with LLNL mentors on potential new drugs to combat COVID-19

June 30, 2022 - 
Students from the University of California, Merced worked with mentors at LLNL to identify drug compounds that could be used to treat COVID-19 during a two-week Data Science Challenge (DSC) that concluded on June 6. For the first time in the DSC series since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, Lab mentors visited the college campus to provide in-person guidance for five teams of UC Merced...

LLNL’s Brase discusses advances by ATOM in accelerating drug discovery pipeline

June 7, 2022 - 
The private-public Accelerating Therapeutic Opportunities in Medicine (ATOM) consortium is showing “significant” progress in demonstrating that HPC and M) tools can speed up the drug discovery process, said Jim Brase, ATOM co-lead and LLNL’s deputy associate director for data science. The consortium currently boasts more than a dozen member organizations, including national laboratories...

Kevin McLoughlin applies computational biology to complex problems

May 17, 2022 - 
Kevin McLoughlin has always been fascinated by the intersection of computing and biology. His LLNL career encompasses award-winning microbial detection technology, a COVID-19 antiviral drug design pipeline, and work with the ATOM consortium. The appeal for him in these projects lies at the intersection of computing and biology. “I love finding ways to visualize data that reveal relationships...

Accelerating the path to precision medicine

March 22, 2022 - 
LLNL joined the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) consortium in 2018. The national, multiyear, multidisciplinary effort, led by the University of California at San Francisco in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley and Argonne national laboratories and other leading research organizations and universities, combines neuroimaging, blood-based...

Machine learning model finds COVID-19 risks for cancer patients

March 10, 2022 - 
A new study by researchers at LLNL and the University of California, San Francisco, looks to identify cancer-related risks for poor outcomes from COVID-19. Analyzing one of the largest databases of patients with cancer and COVID-19, the team found previously unreported links between a rare type of cancer—as well as two cancer treatment-related drugs—and an increased risk of hospitalization...

LLNL team models COVID-19 disease progression and identifies risk factors

Feb. 15, 2022 - 
An LLNL team has developed a comprehensive dynamic model of COVID-19 disease progression in hospitalized patients, finding that risk factors for complications from the disease are dependent on the patient’s disease state. Using a machine learning algorithm on a dataset of electronic health records from more than 1,300 hospitalized COVID-19 patients with ProMedica — the largest health care...

COVID-19 R&D: Computing responds to pandemic

Jan. 19, 2022 - 
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Laboratory immediately started seeking solutions to the myriad challenges posed by the global crisis. The Computing Directorate jumped right in with research and development activities that combine molecular screening to inform antiviral drug experimentation; a generative molecular design software platform to optimize properties of antiviral drugs; an...

Unprecedented multiscale model of protein behavior linked to cancer-causing mutations

Jan. 10, 2022 - 
LLNL researchers and a multi-institutional team have developed a highly detailed, machine learning–backed multiscale model revealing the importance of lipids to the signaling dynamics of RAS, a family of proteins whose mutations are linked to numerous cancers. Published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the paper details the methodology behind the Multiscale Machine...