Tuberculosis remains one of the biggest killers in the world today being responsible for nearly ten million cases and one and a half million deaths each year. New strains are emerging that are resistant to all current front-line anti-tuberculous drugs so new drugs are urgently needed. However, little is known about the metabolism of the TB bacillus and, because of its slow growth, experiments take a very long time.
The Surrey group hopes to speed up the drug discovery process by building an in silico model of the agent that causes TB: a virtual TB bacillus. This model was constructed using information from the entire genome sequence of the pathogen and uses mathematical equations to model the flow of nutrients through the cell. The model is extremely complex, handling 848 different biochemical reactions and 726 genes. The Surrey team showed that the model successfully simulates many of the peculiar properties of the TB bacillus and identifies the drug targets of known anti-tuberculous drugs. But unlike the biological organisms, the in silico TB bacillus grows in nanoseconds so experiments that would normally take months can be performed in minutes. The group hope that the in silico model may be used to identify new drug targets, particularly those capable of killing persistent bacilli.
The work is published in the high-profile journal Genome Biology and describes not only the model but, for the first time, makes an in silico model available to other researchers via an interactive website. Researchers will be able to perform experiments on the virtual TB bacillus from a beach in Bombay or a mountaintop in Malawi. It is hoped that the availability of this novel research tool will stimulate new approaches to control of this deadly pathogen.
Stuart Miller | alfa
Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences