AWS Public Sector Blog

Category: Research

woman researcher at computer in lab

An introduction to AWS for research IT: Getting started in the cloud

The cloud can help researchers process complex workloads, store and analyze enormous amounts of data, collaborate globally, and accelerate research and innovation. For research IT, Amazon Web Services (AWS) can help build scalable, cost-effective, and flexible environments while still maintaining the governance and guardrails for security and compliance. Following best practices, AWS allows for centralized management of resources, improved security and compliance of research workloads, and can save costs and accelerate innovation. What are some common questions from research IT customers?

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space galaxy stars

Mysteries of the universe: Training neural networks to estimate parameters of synthetic black hole images

Before the Event Horizon Telescope project released the first-ever picture of a black hole in 2019, nobody had ever seen one. Black holes are a region of space with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing—not even light—can escape them. The cloud is helping accelerate research into black holes.

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woman loads a robot for genetic studies

A new key to unlocking drug discovery

Be it aspirin for headache, or statin for cholesterol, or amoxicillin as an antibiotic, there are small molecules that we refer to as drugs that can offer therapeutic remedy. Given the range of possible molecule to protein combinations, finding the right small molecule that is able to bind strongly to a certain target site and inhibit its function is a time-intensive and challenging feat. Enter VirtualFlow, a new open-source software that performs screens, essentially matchmaking between molecules and proteins. Harvard Medical School researchers developed the VirtualFlow platform that tests compounds through computer simulations. Using AWS and an AWS Cloud Credit for Research grant, the researchers demonstrated that VirtualFlow is able to run on the cloud.

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CloudBank

Simplifying access to cloud resources for researchers: CloudBank

To better support the growing use of cloud computing resources with increasing data- and compute-intensive research and education workloads, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) announced the Cloud Access solicitation in September 2018. The NSF, through its competitive merit review process, selected CloudBank. Researchers that use CloudBank gain access to advanced hardware resources such as CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, ASICs, and quantum processing units (QPUs). In addition, CloudBank offers proposal assistance, facilitated cloud access and account management, monitoring and resource usage optimization, and eliminates university overhead/indirect costs, and provides curated training materials, classroom, and help desk support.

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Service Workbench on AWS

Announcing Service Workbench on AWS: A fast and simple solution to create a collaborative research environment

Today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced Service Workbench on AWS, a web portal for researchers to deploy domain-specific data and tools on secure IT environments in minutes not months. Customers can accelerate research while promoting repeatability, multi-site collaboration, and cost transparency in the research process. Tailored for researchers, Service Workbench helps quickly and securely stand up research environments for their work, allowing them to focus on the research not the technology.

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A "cryptic pocket" inside the main protease, identified during Folding@home simulations.

Crowdsourcing a cure for COVID-19: How the cloud and Folding@home are accelerating research and drug discovery

Today more than 200,000 volunteers around the world are helping accelerate research toward COVID-19 therapies—by walking away from their computers. That’s because of a concept called distributed computing, which allows anyone with a home computer, laptop, or virtual machine to contribute computing power to a common cause. This month, nonprofit Folding@home has started sharing one of the world’s largest public protein simulation databases as an AWS Open Data Set so that researchers around the world can easily access this data to speed up the search for therapies for COVID-19.

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frozen river with waterfall in woods

Addressing environmental challenges with the AWS Cloud

Azavea believes in the power of geospatial technology to improve communities and the planet. Azavea has been exploring the power of this technology to help their clients to answer complex questions in a wide range of domains from urban ecosystems, infrastructure planning, and economic development to water, energy, and climate change. As part of the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI), we invited Jessica Cahail, product manager at Azavea, to share how her organization is using AWS and open data to develop tools that help users address environmental challenges and deliver knowledge to support decision making.

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The Water Institute of the Gulf runs compute-heavy storm surge and wave simulations on AWS

The Water Institute of the Gulf runs its storm surge and wave analysis models on Amazon Web Services (AWS)—a task that sometimes requires large bursts of compute power. These models are critical in forecasting hurricane storm surge event (like Hurricane Laura in August 2020), evaluating flood risk for the Louisiana and other coastal states, helping governments prepare for future conditions, and managing the coast proactively.

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coronavirus

Taking COVID in STRIDES: The National Center for Biotechnology Information makes coronavirus genomic data available on AWS

AWS and the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) announced the creation of the Coronavirus Genome Sequence Dataset to support COVID-19 research. The dataset is hosted by the AWS Open Data Sponsorship Program and accessible on the Registry of Open Data on AWS, providing researchers quick and easy access to coronavirus sequence data at no cost for use in their COVID-19 research.

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