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 On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

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: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>