"Protein folding is a big problem, there are a large number of proteins and a lot of possible shapes/fold," explained NYU scientist Bonneau, a new faculty member at NYU's Center for Comparative Functional Genomics, with a joint appointment in Biology and Computer Sciences. "In spite of the difficulty, it is an important problem, at the heart of deciphering genomes. The shear amount of compute power needed to carry out this project makes the use of grid computing essential."
It is for this reason that scientists at NYU have teamed up with IBM. The World Community Grid (wcgrid.org) aims to create the world's largest public computing grid to undertake projects that benefit humanity. IBM has developed the technical infrastructure that serves as the grid's foundation for scientific research.
The first and second phases of the NYU research are part of the Human Proteome Folding project (HPF), which combines the power the idle cycles on millions of computers (which we call the grid) to help scientists understand how human proteins fold, the shapes they take on after folding. As computers try millions of ways to fold the chains, they attempt to fold the protein in the way it actually folds in the human body (accurately predict the structure). The best shapes/3D-structures identified for each protein are returned to the scientists for further study and public release. Knowing the shapes of proteins will help researchers understand how proteins perform their functions in vivo (in the cell) and the roles of proteins in diseases. With a greater understanding of protein structure, scientists can learn more about the biological systems that underlie most human activity (biomedical, agricultural, environments). In the end, this work is enabled by the people, around the world, who have volunteered their idle cycles by downloading the grid client (wcgrid.org).
In the first phase, NYU biologists, headed by Professor Richard Bonneau, obtained structure predictions for more than 150 genomes. For more on the Bonneau laboratory's findings, go to http://www.cs.nyu.edu/~bonneau/Struct-pred.html. In this first phase, the NYU team employed "Rosetta," a computer program used in predicting de novo protein structure--"de novo" is the modeling of proteins when there is no "real world" structure on which to base predictions.
"With the first phase we aimed to get protein function by predicting the shape of many protein structures," explained Bonneau. "With the second phase, we will increase the resolution of a select subset of human proteins (attempt to determine the structure with respect to all atoms in the molecule). This phase also include a large test set and will thus serve to improve our understanding of protein structure prediction and advance the state of the art in protein structure prediction."
The NYU researchers, working with researchers studying new methods for early detection of cancer at Seattle's Institute for Systems Biology, will focus on cancer biomarkers--proteins expressed during the early stages of several cancers. They will also focus on proteins involved in host-parasite interactions that are key to our understanding of malaria. They will use a different mode of the Rosetta program to generate higher resolution structures, thereby refining predictions from the first phase with more accurate but also much more computationally demanding methods.
James Devitt | EurekAlert!
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine