Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Designing vaccines by computer


Having vaccines developed by computer may sound unnerving but the increasing role of computer modelling in the development of new vaccines could bring new products onto the market quicker, benefiting patients and saving pharmaceutical companies millions of pounds.

Researchers using informatics and computer modelling can help scientists to uncover and harness the hidden patterns in the wealth of DNA and protein sequences that modern bioscience generates and cut the number of compounds drug companies need to test when searching for new vaccines.

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and working at the Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research are using a very simple concept to help speed up the development of vaccines. They are studying fragments of ’foreign’ proteins that have been shown by experiments to effectively trigger a response by the immune system. They look for common patterns in their sequences or structures and use the information to create a theoretical model of what is needed for one of these fragments to trigger an immune response. They can then employ computers to search for similar sequences in the thousands of sequences now available. When the search finds something promising it can be experimentally tested to see if it will trigger a response.

Dr Darren Flower, an international leader in this work, said, "A crucial feature of this search strategy is that we don’t have to know what a foreign protein actually does in order to identify it as having fragments that that could make good vaccines. This approach has the potential to significantly reduce the number of proteins that we need to experimentally test to develop new vaccines to protect both humans and economically important livestock."

Professor Nigel Brown, BBSRC Director of Science and Technology, said, "Predictive biology, such as this work, has the potential to bring vaccines and medicines to patients faster, and may also offer the potential to re-model existing vaccines to see whether they can regain their effectiveness against viruses and bacteria that have evolved resistance."

Matt Goode | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>