Q: What is the status of the ALS?
A: The Advanced Light Source (ALS) has been approved to carry out essential research with users that may help in developing therapeutics to combat COVID-19. The ALS will operate a limited number of beamlines to accommodate several academic and industry user groups pursuing structural biology work on non-infectious protein components of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The ALS began operating for this approved work on Tuesday, March 31. These limited activities are the only onsite staff or user research authorized at the ALS at this time. Special procedures and precautions have been put in place to ensure activities can occur safely, with sanitization and social distancing, for example, practiced among researchers at the site.
Q: What is the status of ESnet?
A: Operating remotely 24/7/365, the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) enables scientists to seamlessly access data portals, transfer vast research data sets, and tap into remote scientific instruments — all in real-time from anywhere. While staff is sheltered-in-place, ESnet’s multi-100Gbps backbone stretches across the country and beyond, interconnecting the DOE’s national laboratory system, supercomputers, and experimental facilities — all central to the DOE research mission. ESnet is the network for the COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium, providing scientists easy access to the power of DOE supercomputer centers like NERSC and enabling research efforts into the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: What is the status of NERSC?
A: The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) continues to provide supercomputing resources to its more than 7,000 users across the country while the majority of staff are sheltered-in-place. NERSC is contributing resources to the COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium coordinated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The consortium gives researchers access to supercomputers at DOE labs across the country. NERSC has also set up dedicated queues running COVID-19-related research projects on Cori, its Cray XC40 supercomputer able to perform nearly 30 quadrillion calculations per second. Connecting to the research community via ESnet, NERSC also provides dedicated technical support and educational resources to users, ensuring effective use of these world-class resources.
Q: What is the status of JGI?
A: The Joint Genome Institute (JGI) is unable to staff the user support for DNA sequencing, synthesis, metabolomics and data generation/analysis, nor staff its internal science programs, during the current shelter in place order. Acceptance and processing of all sample shipments from the JGI user community have been suspended under these circumstances. The JGI’s active calls for proposals remain open, and the JGI continues to accept proposals for review. Experts in high-throughput automation from JGI have been bringing their expertise to a broad effort at UC Berkeley’s Innovative Genomics Institute, where a team is developing a robotic testing lab.
Q: What is the status of the Molecular Foundry?
A: The Molecular Foundry has been approved to carry out essential research with users that may help in developing therapeutics to combat COVID-19. A Stanford-based user group is now working with Molecular Foundry staff to synthesize polymers known as peptoids that have shown promise as antiviral agents against COVID-19 and can be tolerated in mammals’ lungs. These limited activities are the only on-site staff or user research authorized at the Molecular Foundry at this time. Special procedures and precautions have been put in place to ensure activities can occur safely, with sanitization and social distancing, for example, practiced among researchers at the site.
Q: What is the status of ABPDU?
A: The Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU) has unique capabilities in the areas of pilot-scale fermentation, recovery, and analytical chemistry. The entire ABPDU team, composed of 20 trained personnel and experts, is available to work on essential projects defined by the division as COVID-19-related research and testing.