3D structure of a target protein from Plasmodium falciparum (Credit: SCAI Fraunhofer)
3D-representation of a ligand (red) inside proteins from Plasmodium falciparum (blue – yellow) (Credit: SCAI Fraunhofer)
Subtropical diseases lay waste to millions of people each year. In the quest to find a cure scientists are using Grid computing, the major driving force for new approaches towards collaborative large-scale science, to discover new drugs and better understand the diseases.
Last year there were about 350-500 million infections and approximately 1.3 million deaths due to malaria, mainly in the tropics. Malaria is spread by female mosquitoes, which carry protozoan parasites called Plasmodium.
Currently drug discovery seeks compounds that can inhibit or kill invading parasites and infections, but there are potentially millions of candidate compounds. It can take 10 years to discover a drug and another 10 to get it approved.
Tara Morris | alfa
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