IBM supercomputer sifts out 77 antiviral compounds to form new anti-epidemic force

The faster the better in the race against the disease at the speed of life and death. Behind this anti-epidemic competition, supercomputers became accelerators. IBM joins the U.S. government-led COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) alliance to help researchers deploy predictive models to analyze the development of the new corona outbreak, According to Venture Beat. Accelerate the process of viral therapy.

Faced with new compounds such as viruses, including COVID-19 viruses, researchers culture microbes in the lab and observe their response to incoming compounds, gradually narrowing the range of potential variables. However, individual variables may contain millions or even billions of pieces of data to simulate, and relying solely on the observations of researchers can be a huge challenge.

At present, the world is in an extraordinary period of fighting the epidemic. Data show that the number of new crown cases confirmed globally has exceeded 330,000 (as of the time of writing), and many countries overseas are in the outbreak period, the number of confirmed is still rising. Time is an important factor in winning the anti-epidemic contest. A little more knowledge of the virus, the study of vaccines a step closer, the threat of the new coronavirus is less than a point.

Dario Gil, IBM’s director of research, said in a blog post that a lot of computing is required in epidemiological, bioinformatics, and molecular modeling experiments, which can take years to complete if done manually, and months if operated on slower traditional computing platforms. The high-performance computing system of supercomputer can solve this computational problem quickly.

IBM supercomputer sifts out 77 antiviral compounds to form new anti-epidemic force

It is reported that IBM participated in the COVID-19 research is the Summit supercomputer, is currently the world’s most powerful supercomputer. It consists of 4608 computing servers, each with 2 22-core Power9 processors and six Nvidia Volta V100 GPUs. In addition, Summit has more than 10pet of memory and computing power up to 200PFlops.

Before joining the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Alliance, Summit made a breakthrough in the research of the new corona outbreak. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States say their team used Summit to find the most effective existing drugs to fight COVID-19.

Upon enquiry, its research was published in the journal ChemRxiv, entitled “Repurposing Therapeutics for COVID-19: “Cosmo-Based Docking to SARS-CoV-2 Viral Spike Protein and Viral Spike Protein-Human ACE2 Interface.”

In the study, researchers started with more than 8,000 compounds and used Summit’s algorithmtoe to find drugs that bind to proteins and stop the virus from working.

Preliminary results indicate that summit has now screened 77 compounds that bind to spike proteins, preventing elements on the surface of the virus from being connected to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, ACE2) receptors in human cells.

It is worth noting that while Summit computing can play a role in virus research, it is not possible to design a treatment of its own, and its clinical analysis process is not ideal, requiring medical institutions to evaluate and test selected compounds for use in clinical trials.

In addition, the approach of The Summit-assisted research is to help alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19 and improve survival, not vaccine development. However, in addition to IBM, IBM includes other companies such as Google, Microsoft, the U.S. Department of Energy, Andresler Polytechnic, and other academic institutions, whose computing power also plays a role in virus research.

Amazon’s AWS department has launched a program to provide technical support to research institutions and companies to advance COVID-19 research in diagnostics, treatment, vaccines, and more. Similarly, Microsoft has said it will work with scientists to provide researchers fighting COVID-19 with the tools they need by extending access to Azure and high-performance computing power.

The Renssler Institute of Technology deployed its Artificial Intelligence Multi-Processing Optimization System Computer (AiMOS) at the Renssler Computing Innovation Center, which said it was working with research institutions to support research related to COVID-19.

More and more forces have joined the race against the epidemic, in the face of the new corona virus, the common enemy of all mankind, multi-party efforts, the effectiveness of the anti-epidemic will eventually present “1 1 sgt;2”.