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 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

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: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>