National Computational Infrastructure

NCI

Research Highlights

  • Quakes illuminate Earth’s inner core

    Quakes illuminate Earth’s inner core

    NCI is supporting world-leading researchers at The Australian National University in their efforts to use seismology to learn more about the centre of Earth. Lead researcher Associate Professor Hrvoje Tkalčić recently published the world’s first book about the mysterious inner core – The Earth’s Inner Core: Revealed by Observational Seismology. Professor Tkalčić ... Read More

  • Studying biomolecules with atomic precision

    Studying biomolecules with atomic precision

    Researchers from the University of Queensland are using the National Computational Infrastructure to study the behaviour of biomolecules such as proteins and cell membranes with atomic precision. Of particular interest is the way these biomolecules interact. Understanding the way that proteins and other molecules bind to cell membranes is challenging because ... Read More

  • A map of Australia shaded in bright reds through the center, with paler yellows and whites on the coastline.

    An interactive map of the Australian environment

    The Australian environment has been central to life here for millennia, and understanding the changes going on around us remains central to our food, tourism and health. New satellite data sources now let us see the things going on in our environment in incredible detail. Environmental activities such as water runoff, ... Read More

  • Triangles made up of individual little hexagons hover over a black background, with a green stripe emanating from one of the triangles.

    Exploring the physics of two-dimensional materials

    Researchers from the University of Technology Sydney are investigating the properties of a wide variety of 2-dimensional materials. These materials, made of one atom thick sheets, have radically different properties to their more common bulk counterparts. Professor Mike Ford is trying to understand the electronic properties of some of these materials ... Read More

  • A montage from left to right of a stylised DNA double helix, a panel of DNA sequence letters and the Raijin supercomputer, all overlayed with the same green tinge.

    Medicine looks to the future with genomics and big data

    The diagnosis and treatment of cancer and rare diseases in Australia is set to benefit from a partnership between the Australian Genomics Health Alliance (AGHA) and the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI). Genomic medicine uses a patient’s individual genetic information to guide their clinical care, and helps researchers advance medical understanding of ... Read More

  • Australia is coloured in green, fading to yellow and red to show elevation. The country is surrounded by a swirl of blue.

    Understanding geological formations with precision modelling

    Researchers from the University of Sydney’s Basin GENESIS Hub (BGH) are running models on Raijin that were previously impossible to compute, to gain an understanding of how continents and sedimentary basins are formed. Associate Professor Patrice Rey says the Hub’s purpose is “to understand the formation of continental margins and sedimentary ... Read More

  • A grid of hundreds of purple rods linked with balls, with a ring of blue and yellow balls in the centre.

    Nanomaterials designed for space travel

    Researchers are using NCI’s supercomputing facility to investigate the interaction of nanomaterials with metals that could be used in future space travel. Dr Christoph Rohmann from the University of Queensland is researching new composite materials, metals that are reinforced with boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs). Dr Rohmann says that BNNTs have remarkable ... Read More

  • Lumpy yellow and green-blue bubbles fill a 3D black grid.

    Investigating the properties of quantum particles

    Scientists from the University of Adelaide have been modelling the behaviour of quantum particles using Raijin’s advanced computing capabilities. ARC Future Fellow Dr James Zanotti says, “Our group has been a heavy user of the NCI facilities, and without them our group in Adelaide would have really struggled to exist. The ... Read More

  • A map of Australia overlaid with bright red in approximately the top third, with a colour gradient fading through pink and yellow to green in the south and Tasmania. A colour bar on the right side shows the equivalence between red and 39 degree temperatures through to green and 12 degree temperatures.

    Improving weather forecasts through code improvements

      Researchers from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) are using NCI’s high performance computing facilities and expertise to research and develop the ACCESS (Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator) model used in daily weather forecasts all over the country. While the BoM uses its own supercomputer to run the daily ... Read More

  • Extraordinary animation reveals ocean’s role in El Niños

    Extraordinary animation reveals ocean’s role in El Niños

    Australian researchers from the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science have produced a remarkable high-resolution animation of the largest El Niño ever recorded. It is so detailed that it took 30,000 computer hours crunching ocean model data on Australia’s most powerful supercomputer, Raijin, ... Read More

  • Speeding up the research process with virtual desktops

    Speeding up the research process with virtual desktops

    The Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) at NCI is simplifying the research process for many data reliant projects across the country. Researchers are able to use these new virtual desktops to access all of the data stored at NCI without having to transfer it to their personal computers. The VDI runs ... Read More

  • Supporting science at the high-school level

    Supporting science at the high-school level

    NCI’s support of Australian science goes beyond just academic researchers. School students in Canberra are now also benefiting, through a program called MeriSTEM being run by the ANU Physics Education Centre. MeriSTEM is providing science resources in the form of online lessons and videos to teachers in Canberra colleges, catering ... Read More

  • Record hot year may be the new normal by 2025

    Record hot year may be the new normal by 2025

    Record hot year may be the new normal by 2025: ANU Media Release The hottest year on record globally in 2015 could be an average year by 2025 and beyond if carbon emissions continue to rise at the same rate, new research has found. Lead author Dr Sophie Lewis said human activities ... Read More

  • Tracking chemical processes in the atmosphere

    Tracking chemical processes in the atmosphere

    Dr Jenny Fisher from the University of Wollongong Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry is using computer modelling to understand the chemical processes happening in the atmosphere. These processes drive the dispersion of air pollution, greenhouse gases and airborne particles from cities and Australia. Dr Fisher uses climate models as the basis of ... Read More

  • Australia-focused environmental monitoring solution

    Australia-focused environmental monitoring solution

    Supercomputing infrastructure is helping scientists from the University of Technology Sydney produce satellite data products for vegetation and land monitoring. The researchers have analysed terabytes of Australian regional data from the Terra Modis satellite and brought it all together so that seasonal changes in vegetation can be identified much more ... Read More

  • Visualisations merge art and science to reveal details of larval growth

    Visualisations merge art and science to reveal details of larval growth

    Artist Erica Seccombe, a PhD student and lecturer at The Australian National University School of Art, is combining time resolved micro-CT scans and the NCI-developed high performance visualisation software Drishti in her artistic work. She has been imaging the germination of mung beans for her PhD, and recently has looked ... Read More

  • Mapping the electric underground

    Mapping the electric underground

    The National Computational Infrastructure has generated new optimisation solutions to help resolve important details emerging from magnetotelluric studies of the Australian continent. Magnetotellurics (MT) is a process by which the measurement of the variations in the Earth’s magnetic field and electric field can reveal the geological makeup of the underground. The ... Read More

  • Incoporating satellite imagery in bushfire prevention

    Incoporating satellite imagery in bushfire prevention

    Collaborative work between researchers from The Australian National University and NCI is leading to new understandings about bushfires and bushfire prevention. Dr Marta Yebra from the Bushfires and Natural Hazards Collaborative Research Centre is using satellite images to understand the fire fuel present in the environment. With optical data from NASA’s ... Read More

  • Space junk tracking backed by supercomputer power

    Space junk tracking backed by supercomputer power

    RMIT researchers are using the NCI supercomputer in a major space, atmosphere and satellite navigation research centre. The Satellite Positioning for Atmosphere, Climate and Environment (SPACE) Research Centre uses high performance computing to work through large quantities of data from satellites and ground observation stations. The centre focuses on a variety of atmosphere-based ... Read More

  • Humans have caused climate change for 180 years

    Humans have caused climate change for 180 years

    An international research project has found human activity has been causing global warming for almost two centuries, proving human-induced climate change is not just a 20th century phenomenon. Lead researcher Associate Professor Nerilie Abram from The Australian National University (ANU) said the study found warming began during the early stages of ... Read More

  • Studying Aboriginal children's language use in Northern Australia

    Studying Aboriginal children’s language use in Northern Australia

    Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL), based at The Australian National University and the University of Melbourne, are finding out more about the languages that Aboriginal children in Northern Australia speak. The Aboriginal Child Language Acquisition study (ACLA) uses audio and video recordings of ... Read More

  • Working together to build national datasets

    Working together to build national datasets

    NCI is the platform of collaboration between our fellow NCRIS facilities the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN). Working together, we are building national datasets housed at NCI IMOS Remote Sensing Facility Leader Dr Edward King, who is based at CSIRO, says having access to ... Read More

  • Revolutionising satellite data analysis

    Revolutionising satellite data analysis

    NCI is working with our Collaborating Partner Geoscience Australia (GA) to unlock more than two petabytes of geoscience data of national policymaking significance. With support from the Australian Government’s Research Data Storage Infrastructure project, experts from NCI and GA have been tackling the mammoth task of migrating this dataset to NCI. The ... Read More

  • Scaling massive models

    Scaling massive models

    For the past two years, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has been working closely with NCI to test and refine their next-generation national weather prediction models. “We’re trialling our next-generation models on Raijin in preparation for them becoming operational in a year or two,” explains Dr Michael Naughton from BoM. “Every ... Read More

  • Solvents of the future

    Solvents of the future

    ARC Future Fellow Dr Katya Pas from Monash University is using Raijin to pioneer the potentially industry-revolutionising field of ionic liquids. Current industry processes, such as making paper from cellulose, use toxic organic solvents that break down and evaporate at high temperatures. “Ionic liquids are considered the solvents of the future,” explains ... Read More

  • Searching for super-dense neutron stars

    Searching for super-dense neutron stars

    Researchers are using Raijin to perform the deepest ever search of our galaxy for neutron stars. The discoveries will help test Einstein’s theory of general relativity. “It’s not possible to test Einstein’s general theory of relativity easily in our solar system because our stars are just not heavy enough to sufficiently ... Read More

  • Carbon capture's 'Goldilocks problem'

    Carbon capture’s ‘Goldilocks problem’

    Researchers from UNSW are using NCI’s supercomputer to pinpoint the ‘sweet spot’ of new carbon capture materials. Current materials for capturing carbon from power plant exhaust tend to bind CO2 too effectively. This causes problems when the carbon needs to be released again for sequestration or recycling. “If the material binds to CO2 ... Read More

  • Super-charging solar cell efficiency

    Super-charging solar cell efficiency

    ARC Future Fellow Professor Michelle Coote and her team from The Australian National University have used Raijin to double the efficiency of solar cells. In a dye-sensitised solar cell, the dye absorbs sunlight, causing the dye to change form and release an electron which generates electricity. A second component is then ... Read More

  • How new computational methods will improve the accuracy of satellite navigation

    How new computational methods will improve the accuracy of satellite navigation

    In a time where global positioning devices are cheap and plentiful, it’s actually becoming harder than ever to define where exactly ‘here’ is. For example, global processes such as plate tectonics ensure that ‘here’ is never quite in the same place. As demand for centimetre precision increases, this position discrepancy ... Read More

  • Nanopillars such as these can produce light using electrons bouncing around inside them.

    New classes of optical devices being developed

    Discoveries in nanotechnology are leading to new classes of optical devices, so-called optoelectronic devices, being developed. Translating electric signals into optical ones and optical signals into electric ones, these devices can more efficiently transfer energy from one type to the other than ever before. Professor Chennupati Jagadish from The Australian National ... Read More

  • Tracking the Sun's history

    Tracking the Sun’s history

    Raijin is helping researchers to track variations in the Sun’s activity over recent millennia. Dr Andrew Smith at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has been making trips to Antarctica for almost two decades, bringing back ice cores for analysis. He is searching for beryllium-10, a radioactive atom that holds ... Read More

  • Optics breakthrough to revamp night vision

    Optics breakthrough to revamp night vision

    Wednesday 25 May 2016 A breakthrough by an Australian collaboration of researchers could make infra-red technology easy-to-use and cheap, potentially saving millions of dollars in defence and other areas using sensing devices, and boosting applications of technology to a host of new areas, such as agriculture. Infra-red devices are used for improved ... Read More

  • Bendy volcanic chain shaken at the Earth's core

    Bendy volcanic chain shaken at the Earth’s core

    Thursday 12 May 2016A collaborative research project between the University of Sydney and the Californian Institute of Technology has solved a long standing geological mystery – just how the distinct bend in the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain came to be.Using NCI’s Raijin supercomputer, the research team has been simulating flow patterns ... Read More

  • New website showcases Australia's environment

    New website showcases Australia’s environment

    NCI’s data and compute expertise have played an integral role in a recently launched website that provides easy access to a wide range of environmental data covering the entire country. The data, available on the Australia’s Environment in 2015 website through The Australian National University, covers measurements from precipitation and river ... Read More

  • More frosts to hit WA crops

    More frosts to hit WA crops

    This article originally appeared in the 2014/15 NCI Annual ReportNew research suggests south western Australia will become even drier, with severe implications for the region’s $4.5 billion agricultural industry.Professor Tom Lyons and his team at Murdoch University are using the high performance computing facilities at NCI to predict the future ... Read More

  • Drug design using the NCI supercomputer

    Computer-aided drug design

    Dr David Wilson from La Trobe University is using Raijin to design new drugs for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. “We’re looking at kinases – a group of proteins that are involved in the signalling pathways of a whole bunch of different diseases,” explains Dr Wilson. “If we could stop these kinases working, ... Read More

  • Predicting sea level rise

    Predicting sea level rise

    NCI partners, the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC), are scaling up their models on Raijin to investigate sea level rise.“The largest uncertainty in predictions of future sea level rise comes from a lack of understanding of how the Antarctic ice sheet will respond to climate change,” ... Read More

  • Better materials for industry

    Better materials for industry

    Professor Debra Bernhardt from the University of Queensland has been using Raijin and its predecessors for more than 20 years. Her latest work is helping design better materials for industry.“We use Raijin as an experimental tool to propose and test new materials for applications such as battery technologies, detection of ... Read More

  • New way to control chemical reactions

    New way to control chemical reactions

    Scientists have used electric currents to control chemical reactions in a completely new way, in a breakthrough that could have implications for how chemicals are made in the future.Professor Michelle Coote, a theoretical chemist from the Australian National University worked with researchers from the University of Wollongong and the University ... Read More

  • Deep-water ocean modelling for industry

    Deep-water ocean modelling for industry

    NCI is providing high-performance computational services to global not-for-profit engineering organisation DHI Water and Environment Pty Ltd.“We specialise in engineering involving water,” explains DHI’s Head of Marine, Simon Brandi Mortensen.“Everything from coastal and marine water, like waves and ocean circulation, to ports and ships, and flooding risk and industrial water ... Read More

  • Advancing science to reduce drought disasters

    Advancing science to reduce drought disasters

    Researchers are using NCI’s supercomputer Raijin to better understand how El Nino impacts Australia’s rainfall.Dr Andrea Taschetto, Associate Investigator at the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at UNSW is studying the role that tropical oceans play in driving changes to the Australian climate.The research ... Read More

  • Making green energy greener

    Making green energy greener

    Australian researchers are using NCI’s supercomputer Raijin to develop a way of improving the humidity tolerance of a new type of solar cell technology.The new solar cells, based on a compound with perovskite structures, are cheaper to make than traditional silicon cells but their use in real world devices is ... Read More

  • Shining new light on the body

    Shining new light on the body

    Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) are using Raijin to design ultrasensitive biosensors for use in research and medical diagnosis.Led by Professor Andrew Greentree at RMIT University, the team are using computer modelling to design new devices, including ones that incorporate so-called ‘Whispering Gallery’ resonators.“In ... Read More

  • What drives the deep

    What drives the deep

    Professor Nathan Bindoff and his team at the University of Tasmania are using Raijin to investigate how the Southern ocean drives the Earth’s climate systems.“The Earth’s poles are actually warmer than you would expect, and the equator is colder than you would expect, on the basis of the way the ... Read More

  • Splitting light in the cloud

    Splitting light in the cloud

    NCI’s supercomputer-grade NeCTAR cloud node is helping researchers design more efficient solar cells.PhD candidate Bjӧrn Sturmberg from the University of Sydney has set up a custom environment on the cloud to research a new type of nanostructure for use in ‘tandem’ solar cells.The aim is to use these nanostructures to ... Read More

  • glass sponge

    Searching the seafloor

    Among the 10 PB of research data collections hosted by NCI is the fascinating Geoscience Australia Australian Marine Video and Imagery Collection.This collection comprises 7 TB of video footage and still photographs of the seafloor offshore from Australia and Antarctica, collected on more than 20 marine surveys since 2007.“In some ... Read More

  • Simulating bacterial membranes

    Simulating bacterial membranes

    Dr David Poger from the University of Queensland has been using Raijin to understand bacterial membranes.“Using Raijin I simulate a simplified model of the lipids that form bacterial membranes,” explains Dr Poger.“I take a patch of membrane and change the molecules from one model to the other and see how ... Read More

  • Next big step in alloy discovery

    Next big step in alloy discovery

    Researchers from University of Technology Sydney and Australian Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) are using Raijin to predict the existence of new high temperature, strong and ductile alloys.The new alloys could be suited to a wide range of applications from aircraft engine materials, to golf club heads. They could even ... Read More

  • Professor Jeffrey Reimers

    Understanding how organic surfaces get dirty

    Researchers have used Raijin to find new ways to understand how organic surfaces get dirty.A combination of organic synthesis, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) imaging, density functional theory calculations and access to the NCI’s supercomputing facility has led to this revelation.The work is the result of an international collaboration between Professor Jeffrey ... Read More

  • Smart membranes at the flick of a switch

    Smart membranes at the flick of a switch

    Researchers from Adelaide University have used Raijin to work out how to control the transport of molecules across membranes using a ‘light switch’.These artificial smart membranes harbor ‘photoswitchable’ peptides that change shape depending on what light wavelength they are exposed to.“The peptides switch between their cis and trans states on ... Read More

  • Mobile diagnosis

    Mobile diagnosis

    Smart phones are getting smarter by the minute. They already help us plan transport routes, check the weather and take pictures. What if they could also diagnose diabetes or lung cancer?Dr Antonio Tricoli and his team in the College of Engineering and Computer Science are developing a technology to detect ... Read More

  • Self-training software to help fight crop disease

    Self-training software to help fight crop disease

    Researchers are using supercomputing to stop fungal pathogens in their tracks and help secure our food crops.Alison Testa from Curtin University has developed a sophisticated, self-training software that can help to identify which fungal genes are responsible for crop disease.“There are several fungal pathogens that attack important crops,” she says.“Ideally, ... Read More

  • Chemists create impossible molecule

    Chemists create impossible molecule

    radialene had never been seen in nature, we had to come up with a really creative method, something new and special," Professor Sherburn said."It was quite a day when the PhD students brought the X-ray crystal structure to me."Professor Sherburn said the blue-sky nature of the research means it is ... Read More

  • Preparing for future eruptions

    Preparing for future eruptions

    Volcanic ash is entirely different from the bushfire or backyard barbeque ash that most Australians are familiar with.It’s abrasive and corrosive rock, formed from small particles of fragmented lava which travel vast distances, leaving a passage of devastation in its place.To help reduce the destruction caused by this deadly ash, ... Read More

  • Plant pulling power

    Plant pulling power

    Scientists have used Raijin to reveal the complex chemistry behind one of nature’s best kept secrets—the chemical sparkplug that plants use to make energy.New research from The Australian National University (ANU) shows that the chemical reaction site in plants, where sunlight is used to convert water into oxygen and hydrogen, ... Read More

  • Professor Anatoli Kheifets.

    Physicists solve quantum tunneling mystery

    With some help from Raijin, an international team of scientists studying ultrafast physics have solved a mystery of quantum mechanics, and found that quantum tunneling is an instantaneous process.The new theory could lead to faster and smaller electronic components, for which quantum tunneling is a significant factor. It will also ... Read More

  • Creating antimatter in the lab

    Creating antimatter in the lab

    One of science’s unresolved questions – Where did all of the antimatter at the origin of the Universe go? – may now be explored with the help of NCI.Professor Igor Bray, Head of Curtin’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said the University’s theoretical physics research group have been using NCI ... Read More

  • Modelling bone remodelling

    Modelling bone remodelling

    Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease. As the bones become thinner and less dense, they become exceedingly fragile. Painful fractures and breaks are a constant risk. Luckily, bones are pretty amazing structures. They have a remarkable capacity for remodelling.If a piece of bone lost in a sheep, for example, is replaced with ... Read More

  • Top prize for nanotechnologist

    Top prize for nanotechnologist

    NCI-supported CSIRO researcher Amanda Barnard has won the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize.Dr Barnard is both the first Australian and the first woman to receive this prestigious award.Using the power of the NCI supercomputer, Dr Barnard – who leads CSIRO’s Virtual Nanoscience Laboratory – has pioneered the theoretical investigation of how ... Read More

  • Modelling the insulin receptor

    Modelling the insulin receptor

    One of the biggest goals in treating diabetes is to develop an orally active drug to eliminate the need to inject insulin.But in order to design a drug to mimic insulin, we first need to know exactly how it binds to its receptor.Dr Tristan Croll from Queensland University of Technology ... Read More

  • Prediction power

    Prediction power

    During the past couple of decades, Australia’s weather forecasting ability has improved dramatically, thanks to advances in science and computational technology.Now the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is collaborating with NCI to test and refine its next-generation weather forecasting models to provide even greater prediction power.“Back in the 70s and 80s, ... Read More

  • Behind the scenes of big data storage   

    Behind the scenes of big data storage  

    NCI will soon host more than 10 petabytes of research data. That’s 10,000,000,000 megabytes of files. Hosting these datasets is not as simple as just copy and pasting the files onto a hard drive – they need to be thoroughly catalogued so they can be easily searched, downloaded and analysed. There’s ... Read More

  • Taming the flame

    Taming the flame

    NCI is helping researchers from UNSW to delve into the mysteries of fuel combustion to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency.“Almost 90% of Australia’s total energy production relies on combustion,” says Associate Professor Evatt Hawkes.“It is very important that we move towards renewables, and the pace of developments of renewable ... Read More

  • Towards early detection of heart disease

    Towards early detection of heart disease

    Professor Kerry Hourigan’s team at Monash University are using the NCI supercomputer to develop tools for early detection of heart attacks and strokes.“Cardiovascular disease is a major health problem and one of the biggest killers in Australia and worldwide,” Professor Hourigan says.In the past year, the team have used more ... Read More

  • Keeping quiet

    Keeping quiet

    Not much affects the nerves like the high-pitched squealing of car brakes. Fortunately, researchers are using NCI’s computational facilities to help design quieter brakes – and save the car industry time and money.Car brakes squeal when some of the kinetic energy is transferred into sound instead of heat. The friction ... Read More

  • New way to make rare drugs

    New way to make rare drugs

    ANU chemists have used Raijin to develop a revolutionary new way to manufacture a rare anti-inflammatory drug with potential to treat cancer and malaria.The breakthrough could lead to new and cheaper ways to produce rare drugs in large quantities.“We took small molecules and clipped them together like Lego,” said lead ... Read More

  • Picking your brain

    Picking your brain

    The brain is the most complex part of the human body. It’s the chair of intelligence, interpreter of the senses, motivator of body movement, and controller of behaviour. Using the latest computing technology, researchers at ANU have been able to study this intricate organ. The research will help to identify the ... Read More

  • Small particles, big impact

    Small particles, big impact

    Professor Tiffany Walsh and her team at Deakin University have developed an application to use nanoparticles in laundry powder to achieve a hot wash outcome at a much lower water temperature.“Washing clothes at 90 degrees Celsius melts that really stubborn fat layer and lifts it off the surface of the ... Read More

  • New function for Nobel compound

    New function for Nobel compound

    Researchers have used Raijin to discover that nano-sized fragments of graphene can speed up the rate of chemical reactions.Assistant Professor Amir Karton from the University of Western Australia said the finding suggested graphene – sheets of pure carbon – might have potential applications in catalysing chemical reactions of industrial and ... Read More

  • Molecular movies

    Molecular movies

    Every nine minutes approximately one Australian is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. ARC Future Fellow Associate Professor Aaron Oakley from the University of Wollongong and his team are using Raijin to simulate how a key protein in Alzheimer’s Disease interacts with other biological molecules in the brain. The protein, Apolipoprotein-D (apoD), appears to ... Read More

  • Aussie volcanic mystery explained

    Aussie volcanic mystery explained

     Scientists have used Raijin to solve a long-standing mystery surrounding Australia’s only active volcanic area.The 500 kilometre long region stretches from Melbourne to the South Australian town of Mount Gambier, which surrounds a dormant volcano that last erupted only 5,000 years ago.“Volcanoes in this region of Australia are generated by ... Read More

  • Real-time Twitter mining

    Real-time Twitter mining

    Researchers are using NCI facilities to investigate just how accurately a tweeter’s geographical location can be predicted from publicly available data.ARC Future Fellow Professor Tim Baldwin and his team from The University of Melbourne have trained computer models run at NCI to search through millions of tweets for clues as ... Read More

  • Renewables good to go

    Renewables good to go

    It’s a ground-breaking fact most people don’t know: Australia already has the means to run on 100% renewable energy.“When I started my thesis in 2010, the idea that all of our electricity needs could be met from renewable sources was controversial. Claims were made that it wouldn’t be reliable, and ... Read More

  • Opening the cellular black box of melanoma

    Opening the cellular black box of melanoma

    Malignant melanoma represents only 15% of skin cancers but it accounts for almost all skin-cancer deaths, and Australia has the highest mortality rate from malignant melanoma worldwide.That’s one of the reasons why Australian researchers involved in the Melanoma Genome Project (MGP) have analysed genome sequences from primary tumours and metastases ... Read More

  • NCI Future Fellows

    NCI Future Fellows

    Computational science has played a key role for NCI users who have been awarded fellowships under the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Future Fellowship scheme.“The Future Fellowship scheme plays an important role in building Australia’s research capacity and I would like to congratulate all of the new fellows,” said NCI Director, ... Read More

  • The oldest star in the universe

    The oldest star in the universe

    Researchers from ANU have discovered the oldest known star in the universe, with a little help from NCI.The discovery gives us clues to what the universe was like in its infancy, 13.7 billion years ago.The star was discovered using the ANU SkyMapper telescope, which is producing the first digital map ... Read More

  • Flying colours

    Flying colours

    How could Swiss cheese found in a butterfly wing affect the colour of your car? Butterflies are pretty unassuming. They flit about, discreetly sipping nectar and quietly soaking up some sun. So who knew that they could be harbouring the blueprint for next-generation supercomputers or slow-release cancer drugs?It turns out these ... Read More

  • Antarctica sea could warm twice as much as previously thought

    Antarctica sea could warm twice as much as previously thought

    New research shows projected changes in the winds circling the Antarctic may accelerate global sea level rise significantly more than previously estimated.Changes to Antarctic winds have already been linked to southern Australia’s drying climate but now it appears they may also have a profound impact on warming ocean temperatures under the ... Read More

  • Pain relief breakthrough

    Pain relief breakthrough

    ANU scientists have used Raijin to work out exactly how pain relief drugs, such as anaesthetics, interact with nerve cells.Dr Ben Corry and Lewis Martin developed a detailed computer model that revealed for the first time how benzocaine, a local anaesthetic, and phenytoin, an anti-epilepsy drug, enter into nerve cells ... Read More

  • Extreme weather

    Extreme weather

    Using NCI’s Raijin supercomputer, researchers from CSIRO, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Climate System Science, together with collaborators from China, India and Japan, have predicted that natural disasters could triple in frequency over the coming century.Dr Wenju Cai and his team used computer modelling to analyse, for the first ... Read More

  • Earth-bending tsunamis

    Earth-bending tsunamis

    When the deadly tsunami that caused the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant meltdown in 2011 was observed spreading across the Pacific Ocean, it travelled about 2% slower than conventional computer simulations predict. This meant it arrived at distant coasts up to 20 minutes later than forecast.Now researchers have used the NCI ... Read More

  • The devil in the detail

    The devil in the detail

    Long, spiny legs and alien-like armour sound like the stuff of science fiction, but our terrestrial neighbours can look out of this world if you look up close. ANU School of Art PhD student, Erica Seccombe, has been working with the Department of Applied Mathematics to reveal unseen details of the ... Read More

  • Finding needles in haystacks

    Finding needles in haystacks

    The NCI high performance computers are enabling geophysicists at Geoscience Australia to finally be able to fully use the vast amounts of geophysical data that has been acquired over the Australian Continent over the last 100 years. Geophysical data has been collected by researchers, government agencies and the private sector for ... Read More

  • Digital rocks produce black gold

    Digital rocks produce black gold

    Until sustainable green energy sources overtake fossil fuel usage our daily power production will rely on this increasingly valuable hydrocarbon resource. An Australian innovation in digital rock analysis has created a company at the forefront of efficient recovery of our hydrocarbon resource.Digitalcore, is a consequence of joint ANU and UNSW ... Read More

  • Unlocking the Landsat archive

    Unlocking the Landsat archive

      Landsat 8 image of the Wynham-Kununurra region of Western Australia; showing enhanced water features and mangroves in the mouth of the Ord River. The NCI high performance computers are enabling remote sensing scientists and engineers at Geoscience Australia to ‘unlock’ years of archival satellite data, and to utilise highly sophisticated analysis ... Read More

  • Stealing nature’s secrets for a renewable future

    Stealing nature’s secrets for a renewable future

    Over billions of years, plants have perfected the process of using water and sunlight to produce an endless supply of hydrogen. The secrets to this clean, green energy source have remained locked within the flora world – until now. Using computer modeling at the National Computational Infrastructure, Professors Rob Stranger and ... Read More

  • Venomous bytes

    Venomous bytes

    Scorpions and other venomous creatures have somewhat of a PR problem. Staring down at a scorpion, pincers raised and tail poised for attack would strike fear in the hearts of many. But what if the venomous telson at the end of its tail held the answer to crippling diseases? Deep in the ... Read More

  • What Lies Beneath

    What Lies Beneath

      In a dark room flooded with black water in Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art stands a central dais with two cabinets that glow from within. To the left lies the mummy of Pausiris, dating to 100BC. To the right, an animation peels away the casket and wrappings, revealing ... Read More

  • Understanding what drives our Southern Ocean

    Understanding what drives our Southern Ocean

    As it girdles the planet linking the main oceanic basins, the Southern Ocean is a potent influence over the Earth’s energy distribution system: this vast and still-enigmatic water body holds one of the main keys to understanding how climate change will unfold. The Southern Ocean is warming much faster than predicted, ... Read More

  • Fortelling our climate future

    Fortelling our climate future

    When the world’s leading climate scientists gather in 2013 to report to humanity on the consequences of its activities, a detailed understanding of the southern hemisphere and how it drives the earth’s energy budget will be essential to the global picture. Now under development, ACCESS, the Australian Community Climate and Earth ... Read More

  • Detecting hidden strengths and weaknesses

    Detecting hidden strengths and weaknesses

    It is the exquisite structure of human bone, down to the smallest scale, that lends it its exceptional strength – or reveals its secret frailties. How strong or weak a material may be, how porous or impermeable, are now coming to light for the first time through the art of ... Read More

  • The greatest map ever made

    The greatest map ever made

    It will be a feat of cartography to rival the achievements of Captain James Cook, the most detailed map of the heavens ever compiled, charting a vast dome of stars extending from the equator to the South Pole. The Southern Sky Survey is a deep, digital map of all that can ... Read More

  • What holds the universe together?

    What holds the universe together?

    Australia’s most powerful supercomputer, Vayu, at the NCI National Facility is engaged in an epic task of discovery, helping to define how elementary particles bind together to form our universe. “This is about determining the fundamental laws of Nature by advancing our knowledge of the subatomic structure of the universe,” says ... Read More

  • Discovering New Chemistry in Cyberspace

    Discovering New Chemistry in Cyberspace

      DISCOVERING NEW CHEMISTRY IN CYBERSPACE Finding an affordable way to turn carbon dioxide into fuel or deciphering the subtle processes that lead to heart disease or ageing are among the extraordinary possibilities now opening up thanks to advances in the field of computational quantum chemistry. “Computational quantum chemistry is revolutionizing the practice ... Read More

  • Probing the processes that power the universe

    Probing the processes that power the universe

    Each of us is the scene of billions of collisions, every microsecond of our lives. Indeed, our world and the universe around it thrive on the colliding of minute particles – fundamental processes that cause it to function as it does. “Atomic collisions are the interactions between atoms, electrons, positrons, photons, ... Read More

  • Using supercomputers to feed and green the world

    Using supercomputers to feed and green the world

     A key to feeding humanity and combating climate change through the 21st century will be the development of ‘supercharged’ crops and trees that perform the miracle of photosynthesis with far greater efficiency.At the Australian National University’s John Curtin School of Medical Research, Professor Jill Gready and her team are employing ... Read More

  • Deep diving into the substance of our world

    Deep diving into the substance of our world

    From exploring the earliest origins of life, to creating the quantum devices of the future, to unlocking a new source of fresh water for thirsty Australian cities, nanoscience involves discovering how the world works at the very smallest scales. Professor Julian Gale of Curtin University and his team employ the vast ... Read More

  • Illuminating the machinery of life

    Illuminating the machinery of life

    Among life’s most profound mysteries is how molecules, of their own accord, assemble themselves into the structures essential for living creatures to exist.  Understanding this sheds fresh light on the machinery of life itself. It also promises a new generation of safe, effective treatments for hitherto intractable diseases as well ... Read More

  • Forseeing the unforseeable

    Forseeing the unforseeable

    New materials never seen in Nature are starting to pour in their thousands from laboratories worldwide to build the electronic, medical and communication devices, the paints, plastics, catalysts and cosmetics of the future. With over 800 products already on the market globally, the nano-revolution is in full swing. Above all Dr ... Read More

  • Slowing the fastest thing in the universe

    Slowing the fastest thing in the universe

    So that the internet and modern telecommunications may go a hundred or a thousand times faster, light itself must be slowed and made to perform all sorts of tricks it is not naturally inclined to. With the aid of the NCI supercomputer researchers from CUDOS, the ARC Centre of Excellence for ... Read More

  • Climbing inside Australia's climate engine

    Climbing inside Australia’s climate engine

    The vast apparatus that powers Australia’s climate is being explored in unprecedented depth and detail, as scientists probe the drivers of drought, flood and climate variability, using the nation’s most powerful supercomputer to decipher how our world is changing. Professor Matthew England, Professor Andy Pitman and colleagues at the University of ... Read More

  • Seeking heavy metal in the stars

    Seeking heavy metal in the stars

    Red giant stars up to eight times the mass of our Sun are the birthing suites of nearly half of all the elements in the universe heavier than iron. In their death and dissolution they yield many of the things which make human life worthwhile and pleasurable – but the ... Read More

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