North America Analysis – October 2019

A very warm welcome to the October 2019 edition of North America Analysis, which boasts a vast array of mind transforming content on many policy issues from the region, including a special feature on advanced computing in the United States

Certainly, one highlight in this edition is the in-depth piece from experts at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Here, they reveal their thoughts on building an advanced computing ecosystem fit for 21st-century research and education. One thing we learn is that the NSF-funded Frontera supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center launched during September 2019 is the fastest of its kind at any university and the fifth most powerful system in the world.

An illuminating article comes from Stephanie E. Hampton, Division Director and George W. Gilchrist, Acting Deputy Division Director, at the NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology, who convey that now is a time of unprecedented opportunity for ecology and evolutionary biology. The authors stress that the disciplines of ecology and evolution have long been integrally associated and go on to explain why this is the case.

Another aspect of biology explored here comes from Dr Andrew Bremer, a Paediatric Endocrinologist and Chief of the Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. In his article, he details NICHD-supported research on vitamin D in pregnancy and early childhood development. Vitamin D, we find out, has many benefits including helping the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses.

So, we’ve had some brilliant biology and computing content but we also include compelling analysis from several experts from the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories, who provide a novel perspective around distributive biobanking models, including why biospecimens need blockchain.

I trust that you relish the many high-profile pieces present in October 2019’s North America Analysis.

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