World’s Fastest Supercomputer finds 77 Covid-19 treatments
Friday, 03 27 2020, Category: Technology, Country: United States
Scientists recently tasked the world’s fastest supercomputer with running thousands of simulations to find drug compounds that could fight the coronavirus.
Now, CNN reports, the IBM supercomputer — called “Summit” and housed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee — has identified 77 treatments that may be able to stop COVID-19 dead in its tracks.
The research, detailed a paper uploaded to the preprint server ChemRxiv, could even help researchers develop a vaccine for the deadly virus — but so far, it’s only an important first step.
“Our results don’t mean that we have found a cure or treatment for the coronavirus,” said Jeremy Smith, director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Center for Molecular Biophysics, in a statement.
“We are very hopeful, though, that our computational findings will both inform future studies and provide a framework that experimentalists will use to further investigate these compounds,” he added.
The massive supercomputer was tasked with finding compounds that could bind to the “spike protein” or “S-protein” of the virus that it uses to infect host cells. By rendering the protein ineffective, the virus would be inhibited from spreading.
Using previously-created models of the coronavirus spike, the researchers simulated how particles in the viral protein would react to different drug compounds.