24.04.2020

Supercomputer Prometheus supports scientists in fight against coronavirus


Computing grants for research on COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus are the first in line to access the infrastructure of the fastest supercomputer in Poland, Prometheus, and are taking priority in getting launched. Teams that have been registered so far are performing tests and carrying out research into antibodies present at the time of infection, particles showing potential for preventing infection, and possibilities for the development of vaccines. 

Over 53 thousand processing cores combined in one machine and accompanied by the supporting infrastructure make it possible to process efficiently large medical, biological, and chemical data. Both the computing power and the tools that make it possible to use the power effectively are available to scientists through the PLGrid Infrastructure (registration is possible through the portal: https://portal.plgrid.pl/registration/form). Experts from the AGH UST Academic Computer Centre CYFRONET provide full support in launching programs on Prometheus.

Apart from accelerated grant procedures, scientists conducting research can take advantage of prioritising their applications at helpdesk. 

Part of the computing power of Prometheus is made available within the framework of the PRACE European partnership for the purpose of organising a Pan-European hackathon aiming at the development of new solutions in the fight against the coronavirus. The hackathon, supported by all European countries, is available at https://euvsvirus.org/. It can also be accessed by scientists and researchers from Poland. 

Cyfronet also makes its resources available within the framework of the EGI federation – a distributed computing infrastructure combining the powers of over 250 units from all over the world. The EGI federation, together with the American organisation Open Science Grid (OSG), have combined forces in order to support research projects focusing on COVID-19. More information can be found on the website: https://www.egi.eu/egi-call-for-covid-19-research-projects/ 

Additionally, the Utrecht University’s tool called HADDOCK for biomolecular modelling is available through the EOSC portal (European Open Science Cloud portal), developed by Cyfronet. 

The AGH UST Academic Computer Centre CYFRONET also takes part in the EOSC Synergy project, within the framework of which a computing cloud has been made available for the purpose of fight against the virus. More details can be found on the website: https://www.eosc-synergy.eu/covid-19-vo-supporting-research-in-challenging-times/ 

The supercomputer Prometheus has served medicine for a much longer time – the hosted specialist software packages are used on a day-to-day basis in research connected with the modelling of drug particles, the analysis of data from DNA microarrays, as well as the identification of proteins and anticipating their role in biological processes.   

The AGH UST Academic Computer Centre CYFRONET has for many years supported projects connected with the development of medicine and pharmacology. It is a part of the consortium that carries out the SANO project, whose aim is the introduction of completely new diagnostic and therapeutic solutions, which result from the development of novel, computed biomarkers of diseases, individualised for particular patients.