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News Article | September 28, 2017

Researchers received funding from IARPA to develop next-generation computational and bioinformatics tools that can quickly assess whether certain synthesized DNA strands could pose a risk Computational biologists in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) are collaborating with other experts to develop new approaches and tools for screening DNA sequences that might accidently--or intentionally--be altered, resulting in a biological threat. Mihai Pop, a professor of computer science and interim director of UMIACS, and Todd Treangen, an assistant research scientist in UMIACS, are working closely with the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering and Signature Science LLC on next-generation computational and bioinformatics tools that can quickly assess whether certain synthesized DNA strands could pose a risk. "This is an ambitious project that will join experts in biology, bioinformatics, machine learning and software engineering," says Pop. "The software underlying this project is extremely complex, involving an intricate chain of sophisticated software components. This chain has to work seamlessly--not only to reliably identify biological threats, but to do so under strict time and resource constraints." DNA synthesis has increased significantly during the past decade, Pop says, with scientists in academia and industry using automated machines to construct genes and other long strands of DNA by stringing together chemical building blocks called nucleotides in any desired sequence. While these altered DNA strands can lead to revolutionary advances in medicine, agriculture and materials science, there is the possibility that someone could exploit synthetic DNA for harmful purposes--like creating a synthetic smallpox virus, a deadly scourge that was eradicated from nature in the late 1970s and currently exists only in a few highly secure repositories. The Maryland researchers are subcontracted to Signature Science--a subsidiary of the Southwest Research Institute--on the Functional Genomic and Computational Assessment of Threats (Fun GCAT) program, which is managed by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). For their role in Fun GCAT, researchers from UMIACS, Fraunhofer and Signature Science have identified specific tasks for each group in order to create a "bioinformatics analysis pipeline," says Treangen, an expert in developing software that can quickly and efficiently analyze large amounts of genomic data. Treangen is working on the project with graduate students and postdocs in the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, an interdisciplinary center in UMIACS with access to powerful computing and data storage resources. "My group will develop software modules that can provide rapid sequence and protein structure comparisons to assess the threat potential of functional elements from short DNA sequences," he says. "The biggest challenge will be adapting current tools--and developing new tools--to perform accurate taxonomic assignment, function prediction, and threat assignment of these sequences." The scientists at Fraunhofer will integrate the software modules designed by Treangen's team into a larger software infrastructure that meets regulatory standards and can be optimized for peak performance, says Adam Porter, a professor of computer science at the University of Maryland who is the executive director of Fraunhofer. Fraunhofer will also create the visual dashboards needed for monitoring overall system performance, adds Porter. "This is a large undertaking that requires robust proficiency in designing and integrating automated systems used for testing and validating large amounts of data very quickly," he says. "Fraunhofer and UMIACS can provide that type of expertise in force." As the prime contractor for the $2.9M project, Signature Science will coordinate the work done by UMIACS, Fraunhofer and other team members. This effort is supported by the U.S. Army Research Office. The content of this release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred. About UMIACS: The University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies is multidisciplinary research institute with more than 80 faculty and research scientists from 11 departments and six colleges on the University of Maryland campus. Its primary mission to is foster and enable cutting-edge interdisciplinary research that is grounded in computer science and that addresses pressing scientific and societal challenges. About Fraunhofer: The Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering is an applied research and technology transfer organization that is affiliated with the University of Maryland. It regularly collaborates with UMD faculty, labs and centers to add Fraunhofer's software and systems engineering skills to their basic research, so it can be applied to important scientific and societal problems in biology, health, national security and more.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 5.21M | Year: 2013

The UK is committed to a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% before 2050. With over 40% of fossil fuels used for low temperature heating and 16% of electricity used for cooling these are key areas that must be addressed. The vision of our interdisciplinary centre is to develop a portfolio of technologies that will deliver heat and cold cost-effectively and with such high efficiency as to enable the target to be met, and to create well planned and robust Business, Infrastructure and Technology Roadmaps to implementation. Features of our approach to meeting the challenge are: a) Integration of economic, behavioural, policy and capability/skills factors together with the science/technology research to produce solutions that are technically excellent, compatible with and appealing to business, end-users, manufacturers and installers. b) Managing our research efforts in Delivery Temperature Work Packages (DTWPs) (freezing/cooling, space heating, process heat) so that exemplar study solutions will be applicable in more than one sector (e.g. Commercial/Residential, Commercial/Industrial). c) The sub-tasks (projects) of the DTWPs will be assigned to distinct phases: 1st Wave technologies or products will become operational in a 5-10 year timescale, 2nd Wave ideas and concepts for application in the longer term and an important part of the 2050 energy landscape. 1st Wave projects will lead to a demonstration or field trial with an end user and 2nd Wave projects will lead to a proof-of-concept (PoC) assessment. d) Being market and emission-target driven, research will focus on needs and high volume markets that offer large emission reduction potential to maximise impact. Phase 1 (near term) activities must promise high impact in terms of CO2 emissions reduction and technologies that have short turnaround times/high rates of churn will be prioritised. e) A major dissemination network that engages with core industry stakeholders, end users, contractors and SMEs in regular workshops and also works towards a Skills Capability Development Programme to identify the new skills needed by the installers and operators of the future. The SIRACH (Sustainable Innovation in Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heating) Network will operate at national and international levels to maximise impact and findings will be included in teaching material aimed at the development of tomorrows engineering professionals. f) To allow the balance and timing of projects to evolve as results are delivered/analysed and to maximise overall value for money and impact of the centre only 50% of requested resources are earmarked in advance. g) Each DTWP will generally involve the complete multidisciplinary team in screening different solutions, then pursuing one or two chosen options to realisation and test. Our consortium brings together four partners: Warwick, Loughborough, Ulster and London South Bank Universities with proven track records in electric and gas heat pumps, refrigeration technology, heat storage as well as policy / regulation, end-user behaviour and business modelling. Industrial, commercial, NGO and regulatory resources and advice will come from major stakeholders such as DECC, Energy Technologies Institute, National Grid, British Gas, Asda, Co-operative Group, Hewlett Packard, Institute of Refrigeration, Northern Ireland Housing Executive. An Advisory Board with representatives from Industry, Government, Commerce, and Energy Providers as well as international representation from centres of excellence in Germany, Italy and Australia will provide guidance. Collaboration (staff/student exchange, sharing of results etc.) with government-funded thermal energy centres in Germany (at Fraunhofer ISE), Italy (PoliMi, Milan) and Australia (CSIRO) clearly demonstrate the international relevance and importance of the topic and will enhance the effectiveness of the international effort to combat climate change.

Schiefer A.,Graz University of Technology | Berndt R.,Graz University of Technology | Ullrich T.,Fraunhofer | Settgast V.,Fraunhofer | Fellner D.W.,TU Darmstadt
Web3D Symposium Proceedings | Year: 2010

In this paper we present a software architecture for the integration of a RESTful web service interface in OpenSG applications. The proposed architecture can be integrated into any OpenSG application with minimal changes to the sources. Extending a scene graph application with a web service interface offers many new possibilities. Without much effort it is possible to review and control the scene and its components using a web browser. New ways of (browser based) user interactions can be added on all kinds of web enabled devices. As an example we present the integration of "SweetHome3D" into an existing virtual reality setup. © 2010 ACM.

Standfuss J.,Fraunhofer | Stamm U.,Fraunhofer | Bretschneider J.,Fraunhofer | Kirchhoff G.,Fraunhofer | Brenner B.,Fraunhofer
Proceedings of Global Powertrain Congress | Year: 2013

Laser beam welding as an innovative welding technology is more and more used for powertrain parts (figure 1). Especially for parts like differentials the joining of ring gear with cast iron housings by laser beam welding allows significant cost and weight saving compared to conventional screwing.

Blasi L.,Hewlett - Packard | Jensen J.,STFC | Ziegler W.,Fraunhofer
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2014

Frameworks for service level agreements (SLAs) have been developed to allow services to discover and negotiate SLAs dynamically, without direct human intervention. We give a description of the experiences of two projects which are building on existing work in SLAs: the main advantages being to obtain better overall services (including pricing) for the consumer, and the SLAs are useful as a component of, or extension to, cloud federations. We also argue that the "Quality of Protection" is an important part of SLAs. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Artigao E.,Brunel University | Gan T.-H.,Brunel University | Jimenez J.,Twi Ltd. | Soua S.,Twi Ltd. | And 2 more authors.
European Wind Energy Association Conference and Exhibition 2014, EWEA 2014 | Year: 2014

Current wind turbine condition monitoring process can be time-consuming and costly. These systems failed to achieve the reliability and operational efficiency required by the industry. Existing reports on the monitoring of wind turbine data are restricted to a few historical cases. For certain sensors, like Acoustic Emission (AE), data is yet scarcer 1. In order to overcome this issue, the development of a baseline data analysis method is proposed in this paper. For that, three techniques will be integrated: Acoustic Emission, Operational Modal Analysis and Motor Current Signature Analysis.

Eggen A.,Norwegian Defence Research Establishment FFI | Hauge M.,Norwegian Defence Research Establishment FFI | Hedenstad O.E.,Norwegian Defence Research Establishment FFI | Lund K.,Norwegian Defence Research Establishment FFI | And 4 more authors.
Proceedings - IEEE Military Communications Conference MILCOM | Year: 2013

The multilateral CONSIS project is related to the migration towards Network Enabled Capabilities (NEC) in the participating countries. As such, CoNSIS aligns with the overarching objective of the NATO NEC (NNEC) to enhance the Alliance's ability to federate various capabilities at all levels, military (strategic to tactical) and civilian through networking and information infrastructure. Providing security and efficient network management have been important aspects of this work. The work has been a combination of theoretical studies and field experiments in order to get hands-on experience with the involved technologies. This possibility of addressing radios, networks, SOA, security and management together, has given us knowledge on how the different technologies affect each other and how they may be combined. A follow up project (CoNSIS phase II) is being planned with startup in 2014. © 2013 IEEE.

Karimzadeh M.,University of Twente | Zhao Z.,University of Bern | Hendriks L.,University of Twente | Schmidt R.D.O.,University of Twente | And 6 more authors.
2015 IEEE 4th International Conference on Cloud Networking, CloudNet 2015 | Year: 2015

Recently telecommunication industry benefits from infrastructure sharing, one of the most fundamental enablers of cloud computing, leading to emergence of the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) concept. The most momentous intents by this approach are the support of on-demand provisioning and elasticity of virtualized mobile network components, based on data traffic load. To realize it, during operation and management procedures, the virtualized services need be triggered in order to scale-up/down or scale-out/in an service instance. In this paper we propose an architecture called MOBaaS (Mobility and Bandwidth Availability Prediction as a Service), comprising two algorithms in order to predict user(s) mobility and network link bandwidth availability, that can be implemented in cloud based mobile network structure and can be used as a support service by any other virtualized mobile network service. MOBaaS can provide prediction information in order to generate required triggers for on-demand deploying, provisioning, disposing of virtualized network components. This information can be used for self-adaptation procedures and optimal network function configuration during run-time operation, as well. Through the preliminary experiments with the prototype implementation on the OpenStack platform, we evaluated and confirmed the feasibility and the effectiveness of the prediction algorithms and the proposed architecture. © 2015 IEEE.

Popescu A.,Blekinge Institute of Technology | Kim H.,VTT Technical Research Center of Finland | Davoli F.R.,University of Genoa | Lopez R.D.,Indra | And 3 more authors.
International Symposium on Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications, WPMC | Year: 2013

ENVIRAN is a new research project aiming at the research, design and deployment of new architectural solutions for network virtualization and cognitive radio networks. The project is about developing and testing a new network architecture, to enable innovation through programmability and control of network functions and protocols. For doing this, we solve different technical challenges. These are about network virtualization, open architecture, reconfigurable software suite, virtual base station and decision support system. Another important part of the project is regarding the development of a cognitive virtualization platform, to test the new developed solutions. © 2013 NICT.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 414.66K | Year: 2011

GaN power electronics, in particular, AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMT) are currently being developed and starting to be applied for power conversion, radar, satellite and communication applications. Switched mode power systems based on this will deliver improved efficiency, hence forming a key enabling technology for the low carbon economy. Although performance of these devices is fully sufficient to enable disruptive changes for many system applications, reliability is presently still in question, not only in the UK and Europe, but also in the USA and Japan. This proposal aims at developing a new electrical methodology to study and understand reliability of GaN based HEMTs, in particular to identify the nature of electronic traps generated during the operation of GaN HEMTs, and which affect their lifetime. The programme is supported by key UK, European and US industries (International Rectifier UK, Fraunhofer Institute IAF Germany, UMS Germany, TriQuint USA), and builds on leading expertise in the field of GaN HEMT reliability developed at the Center for Device Thermography and Reliability (CDTR) in Bristol, established in various research programmes in Bristol funded by EPSRC and the US Office of Naval Research (ONR). The focus of this work will lie in overcoming the challenge that the highly accurate standard Capacitance-Voltage (CV) or Conductance technique for probing electronic traps in semiconductor devices cannot be performed on transistor structures relevant to real applications. This is because these techniques require large transistor structures to have enough capacitance to be measurable. Realistic devices have short gate length with consequently too low a capacitance to be accurately measured at the typical measurement frequency of 1kHz-1MHz, also any damage introduced into a device during device operation is typically in too small an area to be easily detectable using traditional techniques. In contrast, methods which can be applied to small III-V FET devices such as current-DLTS or transconductance dispersion respectively use a non-equilibrium pulse technique which is prone to misinterpretation, or have only given qualitative information to date. A key insight which underpins this proposal is that electronic traps in or near the channel primarily generate dispersion in a device below the pinch off voltage in the sub-threshold regime of operation which will be exploited in this programme. We will develop a dynamic transconductance method for GaN HEMT reliability analysis, suitable for small HEMT devices and insensitive to gate leakage currents. The development of this new electrical methodology which delivers the advantages of the quasi-equilibrium capacitance techniques but in small devices, will allow accurate measurements of degradation induced trap properties to be made for the first time. Noise measurements will complement this novel trap analysis, in additional we will benefit from the pulsed electrical-optical trapping analysis technique we developed in the ONR funded DRIFT programme. The work will advance the understanding of GaN HEMT device degradation during operation, i.e., device reliability, and will keep the UK at the forefront of internationally leading semiconductor device reliability research. The methodologies to be developed will also have direct applicability to the burgeoning worldwide effort in III-V CMOS technology for scaled low-power logic.

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