Lab Report

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The Lab Report is a weekly compendium of media reports on science and technology achievements at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Though the Laboratory reviews items for overall accuracy, the reporting organizations are responsible for the content in the links below.

Nov. 13, 2020

mammoth

Lawrence Livermore's new “big memory” performance computing cluster, Mammoth, will be used to perform genomics analysis, nontraditional simulations and graph analytics required by scientists working on COVID-19.

Tackling COVID-19 is a Mammoth task

Lawrence Livermore and partners AMD, Supermicro and Cornelis Networks have installed a high performance computing cluster, dubbed “Mammoth,” with memory and data storage capabilities targeting data-intensive COVID-19 research workloads.

Funded by the $2.2 trillion federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the cluster will be used at LLNL to perform genomics analysis, nontraditional HPC simulations and graph analytics by scientists working on COVID-19, including the development of antiviral drugs and designer antibodies.

Mammoth comprises 64 nodes outfitted with second-generation AMD EPYC CPUs. Each node has two 64-core CPUs with 128 threads, features high-memory bandwidth and provides 2 terabytes (TB) of DRAM memory and nearly 4 TB of nonvolatile memory. The extra memory afforded by Mammoth is critical for COVID-19 researchers, who must sift through massive databases of information.

simulation 11.13.20

GEOSX is an open-source, high-performance simulator to help researchers better understand large-scale geological carbon dioxide storage.

A total boon for carbon storage

After more than two years of joint research, Total, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Stanford University released GEOSX, an open‑source simulator for large-scale geological carbon dioxide (CO2) storage.

GEOSX was developed using advanced new technologies in high-performance computing and applied mathematics and aims to improve the management and safety of geological CO2 repositories. Its computing performance is unmatched to date.

The open-source nature of GEOSX aims to ensure a high level of transparency, sharing and community support to pave the way for the large-scale development of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage technologies.

aneurysm 11.13.20

Using 3D printing, an LLNL team replicated an aneurysm in vitro and performed an endovascular repair procedure on the printed aneurysm, inserting a catheter into the blood vessel and packing platinum coils inside the aneurysm sac. The team introduced blood plasma and observed a blood clot form where the coils were located. The green areas depict the endothelial cells and the red indicates the formed clot. Photo by Elisa Wasson.

 

Aneurysms on the brain

Cerebral aneurysms, caused by the artery walls in the brain weakening, affect roughly one in every 50 people in the United States, and are distinguished by a bulging blood vessel, which can cause brain damage, stroke or even death if ruptured.

A team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore, Duke University and Texas A&M has been working hard to improve current surgical procedures and make them more patient-specific.

The team used 3D bioprinting to create the first living aneurysm outside of the human body, and then performed a medical procedure, watching it respond to treatment and heal just like a real brain.

power station

Two employees work on pipes carrying liquid CO2 at a power station near Berlin, Germany. Credit: Michael Urban/DDP/AFP.

inside climate news

Carbon capture can reach common ground

While carbon capture and storage, or CCS, has a vexed history, a combination of factors has brought the technology into prominence in recent years. Many scientists and policy experts say it’s growing clearer that the world will need to be able to capture some carbon dioxide emissions from smokestacks or pull CO2 straight from the atmosphere in order to meet global climate goals.

The technology also could be used to capture the gas at facilities that convert plants into hydrogen or other fuels, creating a carbon-negative fuel if the captured CO2 is stored underground. Carbon capture has received renewed support as it has become increasingly clear that simply reducing emissions may not be enough to limit warming to safe levels.

"It's not just about cutting down the sources of the CO2, it's about finding ways to remove it from the atmosphere," said George Peridas, director of carbon management partnerships at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Some companies have tried to remove carbon dioxide directly from the air. "We need this to be widely available at the gigaton scale, so billion-ton scale, by mid-century," he said.

According to a special report released two years ago by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, some level of carbon capture is likely to play a role in any effort that would limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century.

resin

Using a volumetric additive manufacturing 3D printer, Lawrence Livermore researchers were able to build tough and strong, as well as stretchable and flexible, objects nearly instantly from thiol-ene resins. Photo by Maxim Shusteff/LLNL.

asm international

It’s a material thing

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore (LLNL) have adapted a new class of materials for their groundbreaking volumetric 3D-printing method that produces objects nearly instantly, expanding the range of material properties achievable with the technique. 

The class of materials adapted for volumetric 3D printing is called thiol-ene resins, and they can be used with LLNL's volumetric additive manufacturing (VAM) techniques, including computed axial lithography (CAL), which produces objects by projecting beams of 3D-patterned light into a vial of resin. The vial spins as the light cures the liquid resin into a solid at the desired points in the volume, and the uncured resin is drained, leaving the 3D object behind in a matter of seconds. 

Previously, researchers worked with acrylate‐based resins that produced brittle and easily breakable objects using the CAL process. However, the new resin chemistry, created through the careful balancing of three different types of molecules, is more versatile and provides researchers with a flexible design space and a wider range of mechanical performance. With thiol-ene resins, researchers were able to build tough and strong, as well as stretchable and flexible, objects, using a custom VAM printer at LLNL.