Going Back to the Classics

first_imgThis week visual arts in Oxford was nowhere near boiling-point. The new exhibitions in the Ashmolean such as Spectacular Impressions and An Englishman’s Travels in Egypt, despite their promising titles, were more lukewarm than usual. The former, showcasing prints from the 15th to 17th centuries by artists such as Mantegna, Durer, Rembrandt and Van Dyck, was definitely enlightening. Every one of the images on display has been recognised internationally as to be of the highest quality, and each could probably inspire an exhibition in itself. However, to the untrained and uninformed eye, they were impressive more in terms of technical skill than emotive power. Similarly, the Englishman’s Travels in Europe though interesting in its revival of the story of Edward Lane, a renowned Arabic scholar and fine draughtsman, invited only a passing glance.In the same way, Ornamentation: drawings for the decorative arts, running in the Christ Church Gallery from 30 April to 30 July, seemed to me to be pleasant but entirely insipid, drawing on the College’s existing collection of graphic art and featuring particularly prominently the designs of Giulio Romano. Apart from a slight physical resemblance to Punch cartoons, the collection was unremarkable, offering plenty of faint drawings of ornamental vases, curlicues and seals.In comparison to these, the permanent collection of paintings in Christ Church seems much more impressive. Needless to say, the 300 odd Old Master paintings and almost 2 000 drawings are definitely overwhelming in their grandeur and scope. I particularly enjoyed the detailed work in paintings such as The Devil, where a certain Abba Moses the Indian (i.e from Ethiopia) is painted a lurid shade of green, with sagging breasts, a beard, tails, winds and bird feet in one of the Nine Scenes from the Lives of the Hermits (Tuscan Schoolc.1440- 1450). Other gems include the Fragment from a Lamentation by Hugo van der Goes (the tears on the Virgin’s face glisten with tangible emotion), and Filippino Lippi’s The Wounded Centaur, which beautifully depicts the dangers of playing with love.These, of course, are just a few examples of the wealth of delights provided by this small gallery, mentioned in every tourist guide, but under-utilised by the members of the University to whom, after all, admission is free (on presentation of a Bod card). In fact, I would recommend any bored visual arts buff to go spend an afternoon at Christ Church. More often than not, the permanent collection of the  college shows more dynamism and promise than newer arrivals to the city.ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003last_img read more

Breakthrough science recognized

first_imgTwo series of studies by Harvard research teams, who used a combination of technologies to track the development of zebrafish and frog embryos, cell by cell and through time, have been featured in the “2018 Breakthrough of the Year” edition of Science magazine.One set of studies was led by Alexander Schier, the Leo Erikson Life Sciences Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. The other series was conducted by Harvard Medical School (HMS) researchers, led by Allon Klein, assistant professor of systems biology, Sean Megason, associate professor of systems biology, and Marc Kirschner, the John Franklin Enders University Professor of Systems Biology.Their work was described in three papers published in Science in April and a paper in Nature Biotechnology in March.Top left: Alexander Schier, Leo Erikson Life Sciences Professor at Harvard. Top right: Allon Klein, assistant professor of systems biology at HMS. Bottom left: Marc Kirschner, the John Franklin Enders University Professor of Systems Biology at HMS. Bottom right: Sean Megason, associate professor of systems biology at HMS. Photos courtesy of Harvard Medical SchoolThe teams were able to reconstruct the developmental trajectories and lineages that generate neurons, muscle, blood, and other cell types in unprecedented detail, using a combination of technologies including single-cell RNA sequencing and CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, and computational approaches.Science editor in chief Jeremy Berg, in announcing the recognition, commented that the work addresses “one of the most fundamental and fascinating processes in biology — the seemingly miraculous transformation of single cells into complex organisms — providing rich information about cell-type inventories and laying the foundation for many future studies.”“The large and rich data sets that have been generated, and the techniques that will produce more, constitute exciting breakthroughs in developmental biology,” Berg wrote.The Harvard research teams traced the fates of individual cells over the first days of an embryo’s life, and revealed a comprehensive landscape of which genes were switched on or off, and when, as embryonic cells transitioned into new cell states and types.Together, the findings represent a catalog of genetic “recipes” for generating different cell types in two vertebrate species and provide an unprecedented resource for the study of developmental biology and disease. From one, many “With single-cell sequencing, we can, in a day’s work, recapitulate decades of painstaking research on the decisions cells make at the earliest stages of life,” said Klein. “With the approaches that we’ve developed, we’re charting what we think the future of developmental biology will be as it transforms into a quantitative, big-data-driven science.”In addition to shedding new light on the early stages of life, the work could open the door to a new understanding of a host of diseases, said Schier.“We foresee that any complex biological process in which cells change gene expression over time can be reconstructed using this approach,” he said. “Not just the development of embryos, but also the development of cancer or brain degeneration.” Related Harvard scientists reveal the genetic roadmap to building an entire organism from a single cell last_img read more

Data Management: Design Principals

first_imgData Protection EvolutionAccess methods: The platform supports a variety of access methods, including full data restore, application-directed recovery, and API access for third-party integrations. The API architecture enables the full power of the platform through published, stable and well-documented APIs.Consumption methods: It provides the ability to consume capabilities either as a platform managed by the end user or as a SaaS offering, which is managed by the provider.Automation: The platform embeds and leverages artificial intelligence and/or machine learning techniques to automate commonly executed workflows to place data on the correct tier and media type, detect and mitigate system and security issues, provide access through NLP channels, etc.Multi-Dimensional AppliancesThe second foundational tenet required to complement a software-defined platform is multi-dimensional appliances, and those core elements are:Scale: The appliance must have the ability to scale in place, and to scale up and scale out, while starting with a small size and adding additional capacity either through more disks or flash drives or enabled through licensing in the same form factor. It can scale up by adding more disk or flash trays behind an existing controller. And, it can scale out by adding additional appliance capacity units.Media: The type of storage can be traditional spinning disk media, all flash, or emerging media such as Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe) and next-generation Storage Class Memory (SCM). A traditional backup storage scenario may leverage all HDDs, possibly complemented with small amount of flash. Alternatively, the high-performance of all-flash media may be optimal for dev/test and analytics use cases.Deployment: The same appliance configuration can be deployed on-premises in an integrated form factor, or in a software-only form factor writing to commodity protection storage. It can also be deployed in the cloud as a software-only appliance writing to object storage or offered as SaaS by a service provider.Use cases: The appliance is designed to support a full range of software-defined platform use cases, ranging from traditional, capacity-oriented use cases (archive, long-term retention, backup, restore) to performance-oriented use cases (replication, disaster recovery, dev/test, analytics).Security and integrity: The appliance supports security capabilities such as encryption in place and in flight plus key management. It also supports data resilience and integrity through the data invulnerability architecture.Management: The multi-dimensional appliance can be managed through traditional on-board system management techniques. It can also be managed through a SaaS-based management portal that can manage large, multi-site environments. Additionally, the platform provides rich APIs for third-party integrations and custom, end user workflows.Resiliency: The appliance auto-discovers component and system failures, as well as security intrusions and anomalies. In addition to alerting the administrator, it attempts to remediate the fault through a self-healing architecture or block out suspicious activity and data sets.High availability and non-disruptive operations: The system provides high availability and non-disruptive operations (NDO) through component-level redundancy and heuristic-based predictive software that proactively discovers, isolates and remediates failure. The system provides the ability to upgrade different software and firmware in the system non-disruptively and with minimal operator interventionSearch and Analytics: The multi-dimensional appliance provides rich search and analytics functionality. It provides predictive search capabilities at the VM level, files within the VM and even content within those files. It provides detailed analytics on the nature of the stored data from the type of files, to their age, to the sensitivity of the content.Efficiency: Efficiency is applied in the form of data reduction techniques such as deduplication and compression, which consequently reduces bandwidth use when sent over the wire. It is also cloud aware – so, for example, when searching a data set stored in the cloud it only displays the catalog and only selectively downloads the files needed to reduce cloud egress costs.Performance: The appliance supports a wide range of performance characteristics in support of a broad range of RPOs and change rates. It supports a sufficient number of ingest streams and ingest rates even to support zero RPO (i.e. no data loss) on a rapidly changing workload.Hear more about Dell EMC’s perspective regarding data management in a CUBE Conversation with Beth Phalen (President, Data Protection Division) and Sharad Rastogi (SVP, Product Management) during Dell Technologies World 2019.Beth Phalen and Sharad Rastogi share the Dell EMC perspective at theCUBE in Las VegasModernizing IT should be a priority for all organizations as data continues to power the future of business. Effectively and efficiently protecting AND managing that data to drive business outcomes may determine who wins and who loses in the race toward data insights. The design principles above provide guidance toward identifying the appropriate data management solution attributes for your company.Want to learn more about how Dell EMC is delivering data management? Stay tuned to Dell EMC.com and check out our announcement from Dell Technologies World. In the recent blog “Redefining Data Protection,” Sharad Rastogi discusses unlocking the value of data capital by evolving data protection to that of a leverageable service to help drive business outcomes. In this context, data protection transitions to data management.Sharad describes key aspects of a data management solution, including use of any data source, target, service level objective, location, use case, consumption model and business model. With those considerations in mind, the next question is, what are the design principles for a data management solution?At the highest level there are two primary design principles: a Software-Defined Platform and Multi-Dimensional Appliances. Let’s unpack both.Software Defined PlatformIn order to support the wide range of capabilities required, a robust data management solution requires a significant amount of flexibility. The most efficient method of delivering that flexibility is through a software-defined, API-based platform. Below are some of the core tenets of the software-defined platform:Form factor: While the software-defined data platform can be delivered as an integrated appliance, the same capabilities can be obtained in a software-only form factor, installed on a software-defined hardware platform on-premises or in the cloud.Data services: Software-defined applies beyond form factor — it also pertains to the platform’s ability to provide flexible data services. A single software-defined platform provides the full suite of data protection capabilities from archive, long-term retention and backup / recovery to disaster recovery and business continuity spanning the entire RTO / RPO spectrum.Cyber recovery: It supports the ability to recover your data on-premises or in the cloud, and the capability to recover data in the event of a ransomware attack by providing secure air-gapped solutions.Efficiency, security and integrity: The solution should support data reduction techniques such as compression and deduplication while ensuring the safety of the data through encryption and its integrity through a data invulnerability architecture.Data management: The software-defined platform supports a wide range of data management use cases from fast, lightweight copies for dev / test, analytics, etc. to various compliance use cases, including HIPAA, SEC and GDPR.Flexible architecture: The solution is architected using a flexible and scalable modern, services-based platform, enabling support for a full spectrum of workloads ranging from traditional enterprise applications to modern cloud native applications.last_img read more