For humans, few things are as ubiquitous as the common cold. We catch it more than any other infectious disease and it's been with us as about as long as we've existed. But while there isn't a cure, our technology is constantly improving, and now in our corner we have Australia's fastest supercomputer helping to work out a solution.
The IBM Blue Gene/Q will simulate the motion of the human rhinovirus--the most prevalent cause of the cold--in 3D. The simulation is being built on information gleaned from a new antiviral drug developed by Melbourne company Biota Holdings LTD, to be used specifically for those at high-risk of rhinovirus complications. Researchers know the drug and its cousins work by surrounding the shell of the virus, or capsid, but the details are murky. This could help shine some light and maybe even help in developing better medications.
Before this, simulations were run on only parts of a virus, or on a much smaller scale. IBM Blue Gene/Q's computing power could help to how drugs and viruses interact on a molecular level we haven't seen before. But just the fact that it takes this level of computing to help understand what we're up against is a testament to how tough the common cold is to beat.
Why should i care about a drug specifically for this when we have this:
What happened to this miracle drug. I bet it got bought and shelfed.
It look so weird.
Maybe it would be a better idea not to be so concerned with immediately "treating" everything that happens in life as soon as we don't like it. Our urge to instantly wanting relief may prove to be quite unhealthy because it creates impatient people without any emotional or physical resilience.
Couldn't agree more with gk0u9woblrox9x5, if we over sterilize the world, we lose the hearty-ness to fight off new infections, what happens when we finally get a piece of Mars home and it does have bacteria in it? We as a species NEED some level of "illness" to continue to promote antibodies. If we never got sick, we would have zero immunities.
Playing Devil's Advocate since 1978
"The only constant in the universe is change"
-Heraclitus of Ephesus 535 BC - 475 BC
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know whether this simulation is using DPD or is it using another type of MD?
Should the IBM Blue Gene/Q's computing power ever become 'self aware' and decide to hold a gun to the head of Earth, just think we humans gave IBM Blue means and tools to do it. IBM Blue will could make a precise virus to elimanate or control all of humanity.
What is the common cold? I was under the impression it was simply a list of symptoms commonly ascribed to several diseases. Studying only one is not going to solve the problem, but at least it's a start.
I'm not sure what the whole point of modeling the virus is, considering that it can mutate and also be killed from a variety of factors like those in unique immune systems. I assume it is to provide drugs that affect the virus, even though the resulting drug may cause damage to the body in clinical trials; after all, we're just trying to make a buck and not modeling how the new molecules affect whole systems. Putting up your blinders makes the pool of potential medicines greater.
Oh @Robot, so you were aware that IBM was responsible for building the census software for the Nazis so it could help them determine who had Jewish ancestry? IBM just loves building these doomsday machines.
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Supercomputer simulates supervirus. We have a new viruses every day.
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