Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Computers worldwide speed search for anti-smallpox drugs

05.02.2003


A major computer project has been launched today to analyse millions of different chemicals in the search for drugs to combat the bioterrorist threat of smallpox.



The smallpox research project will use the ‘screensaver downtime’ donated by up to two million computer users worldwide to screen 35 million compounds and identify those most likely to be suitable for drug development.

Currently no drugs are available to combat the smallpox virus after infection, and the only prevention is vaccination, with a vaccine known to have harmful side effects.


The Smallpox Research Grid Project involves scientists from the Universities of Oxford and Essex, the University of Western Ontario, biotechnology company Evotec OAI, and technology companies IBM, United Devices and Accelrys.

Professor Chris Reynolds from the Department of Biological Sciences at Essex explained: ‘New technology has given us a great opportunity to reduce the cost, and speed up the process, of developing new drugs. It is like trying to place a jigsaw piece when all the jigsaws in the world have been mixed up. The donated computer capacity allows pieces to be screened for those the right shape to block a key enzyme in the smallpox virus.’

This type of research has already been used successfully to accelerate the search for drugs to fight cancer. A human enzyme similar to one in the smallpox virus becomes unregulated when cancer develops. This means any compound that hits against the smallpox enzyme but not the human version may give rise to drugs which could combat a smallpox attack.

The project amounts to an initial screening step, narrowing down a list of potential drugs for smallpox from millions to just thousands, a more realistic number to test further in laboratories.

A new phase of the grid computing project was launched recently to refine the search for anti-cancer drugs. Volunteers who donate the spare capacity of their PCs are informed what project is running on their machine. To volunteer your PC, log on to www.grid.org and follow the instructions.

Kate Cleveland | alfa
Further information:
http://www.essex.ac.uk/news/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>