posted on December 5, 2014

Several MSI Principal Investigators are involved in an interdisciplinary project that is evaluating how introducing beneficial bacteria into diabetes patients’ intestines might improve their insulin sensitivity. Insulin sends glucose from the blood into other cells in the body; people with diabetes are unable to properly regulate their blood sugar.

MSI PIs on the team include Professor Michael Sadowsky (Director, BioTechnology Institute; Soil, Water, and Climate), Associate Professor Douglas Mashek (Food Science and Nutrition), Professor Kelvin Lim (Psychiatry), and Professor David Bernlohr (Head, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics). The lead researcher is Professor Alexander Khoruts (Medicine), a leader in the field of microbiota transplants.

An article about this project can be read on the OVPR’s Inquiry blog.


posted on December 4, 2014

Two opportunities in high-performance computing research are now accepting applications for their programs in 2015.

The Computational Physics Student Summer Workshop will be hosted by Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Computational Physics Division, June 8 - August 14, 2015. The workshop is open to undergraduate and graduate students who will work in small groups under the guidance of one or more mentors. Several projects are being offered. Students receive a fellowship, the amount of which is based on academic rank. The application deadline is January 26, 2015. See complete information at the program website: Computational Physics Student Summer Workshop.

Blue Waters Graduate Fellowships are open to PhD students in the second or later year of their graduate program. Fellowships provide a stipend, an allocation on the Blue Waters computing system, and a travel allowance to attend a Blue Waters-sponsored symposium. The application deadline is February 4, 2015. See complete information at the program website: Blue Waters Graduate Fellowships.


posted on December 1, 2014

On Wednesday, December 3, from 04:00 - 15:00, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to the network and various systems.

During this maintenance period, we will be performing the following updates:

• Lab Queue and Workstation Panasas Client Updates (briefly affecting login nodes on most DB hosting machines, Galaxy, and login nodes)
• Lab Queue Moab and Torque Updates
• Launch of MSI's global scratch system via Panasas  (28 days deletion policy and existing scratch systems will be seamlessly replaced except the Lustre scratch system on Itasca)
• Network Media Changes (briefly affecting connectivity)

Systems status is always available on our Status page.

If you have any questions, please email


posted on November 17, 2014

Regents Professor David Tilman, an MSI Principal Investigator in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (College of Biological Sciencesand Fellow of the Institute on the Environment, has published a study in the prestigious journal Nature showing the link between human diet and human health but also the environment. The paper compiles and analyzes global data quantifying relationships between diet, environmental sustainability, and human health. Stories about his paper have appeared on the websites of Time magazine, Eat Drink Better, and Red Orbit. It has also been written up on the University of Minnesota’s Discover blog.

The paper can be found on the Nature website.

Professor Tilman is the Director of the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, an NSF Long-Term Ecological Research Site owned by the University of Minnesota. MSI resources are being used to manage the very large datasets containing information collected at CCESR since 1964.

posted on November 14, 2014

MSI Principal Investigator Jian-Ping Wang (Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Science and Engineering) led a team that developed the z-Lab, a device that may eventually help physicians diagnose serious ailments with just a drop of blood. Z-Lab has won a $120,000 prize from the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE. The device detects biomarkers in the blood sample and identifies those that are associated with disease.

Several news outlets have published this story:
Minnesota Daily

Professor Wang uses MSI for theoretical studies of the electronic structure of various materials. This work complements lab experiments.