Scientists hope supercomputers will help fight the rapid spread of new coronaviruses,media BGR reported. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States have just released the results of a project that uses large IBM supercomputers, or Summit, to find the most effective existing drugs to fight COVID-19.
The paper, published in the journal ChemRxiv, focuses on how viruses bind to cells. Like other viruses, the new coronavirus injects cells with protrusion proteins. Using Summit’s algorithm to study which drugs bind to proteins and stop the virus from working, researchers can now list 77 promising drugs.
Starting with more than 8,000 compounds, Summit’s incredible power dramatically shortens the experimental time, ruling out the vast majority of possible drugs before deciding to use 77 drugs that rank according to their effectiveness in stopping the virus in the body.
“You need Summit to get the simulation results we need quickly. “It took us a day or two, and it took months on an ordinary computer,” study co-author Jeremy Smith said in a statement. “Our results do not mean that we have found a cure for the new coronavirus. However, we very much hope that our results will inform future studies and provide the experimenters with a framework for further study of these compounds. Only then will we know if either of them has the characteristics needed to mitigate the virus. “
These promising compounds can now play a role in the development of new therapies or an efficient vaccine that will prevent the virus from taking root in the body. At the moment, our best defense against the virus is to keep the virus at a social distance, but vaccines or treatments that reduce symptoms and shorten recovery times can go a long way toward getting people back on track.
Looking ahead, the researchers plan to use a new, more accurate model of protein protrusion struck by the virus to conduct the experiment again. The new model could change the most effective drugs for the virus and hopefully shorten the path to treatment. It’s still months before we get the vaccine, but scientists are working on these solutions.