Supercomputer May Have Finally Unlocked a Way to Beat HIV
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
31-05-2013, 06:42 PM
Supercomputer May Have Finally Unlocked a Way to Beat HIV
Abstract:

Quote:How a Supercomputer May Have Finally Unlocked a Way to Beat HIV

There's no easy answer for HIV; the sly virus uses our own immune cells to its advantage and mutates readily to shrug off round after round of anti-retrovirals.
But thanks to the efforts researchers from the University of Illinois and some heavy-duty number crunching from one of the world's fastest petaflop supercomputers,
we may be able to stop HIV right in its tracks.

The latest line of attack against HIV targets its viral casing (or capsid). Capsids lie between the virus's spherical outer coat, a .1 micron diameter, lipid based
layer known as the viral envelope, and a bullet-shaped inner coat known as the viral core that contains the strands of HIV RNA. Capsids comprise 2,000 copies of the
viral protein, p24, arranged in a lattice structure (a rough insight gleaned only from years of cryo-electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy,
cryo-EM tomography, and X-ray crystallography work). The capsid is responsible for protecting the RNA load, disabling the host's immune system, and delivering the RNA
into new cells. In other words: It's the evil mastermind.

[Image: hiv-protein.jpg]

But until very recently, the precise structure—how the thousands of copies of p24 actually meshed together—remained a mystery. The capsid's (relatively) large size,
non-symmetric shape, protein structure has stumped researchers' attempts to effectively model it. Earlier research had revealed that the p24 arranged itself in either
a pentagon or hexagon shape as part of the capsid structure, but how many of each and how the pieces fit together remained out of reach because science simply didn't
have the computational prowess to model this incredibly complex subatomic structure in atomic-level detail.

This problem required a petaflop-level supercomputer to solve, a class of machine that has only recently become readily available. The team turned to National Center
for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and its resident supercomputer, Blue Waters.

[Image: blue-waters.jpg]

It's only a matter of time until HIV goes the way of polio. And it's thanks in no small part to one beast of a computer.

Full, long article at Gizmodo.


If this is true, I wonder what big pharma is going to do. HIV/AIDS is a great business. It's not good for pharmaceutical companies to find a functional cure.

DISCLAIMER: If you find a message from me offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
If you don't know how to ignore a message, complain to me and I will be happy to demonstrate.

[Image: tta.php]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
31-05-2013, 07:24 PM
RE: Supercomputer May Have Finally Unlocked a Way to Beat HIV
(31-05-2013 06:42 PM)KVron Wrote:  Abstract:

Quote:How a Supercomputer May Have Finally Unlocked a Way to Beat HIV

There's no easy answer for HIV; the sly virus uses our own immune cells to its advantage and mutates readily to shrug off round after round of anti-retrovirals.
But thanks to the efforts researchers from the University of Illinois and some heavy-duty number crunching from one of the world's fastest petaflop supercomputers,
we may be able to stop HIV right in its tracks.

The latest line of attack against HIV targets its viral casing (or capsid). Capsids lie between the virus's spherical outer coat, a .1 micron diameter, lipid based
layer known as the viral envelope, and a bullet-shaped inner coat known as the viral core that contains the strands of HIV RNA. Capsids comprise 2,000 copies of the
viral protein, p24, arranged in a lattice structure (a rough insight gleaned only from years of cryo-electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy,
cryo-EM tomography, and X-ray crystallography work). The capsid is responsible for protecting the RNA load, disabling the host's immune system, and delivering the RNA
into new cells. In other words: It's the evil mastermind.

[Image: hiv-protein.jpg]

But until very recently, the precise structure—how the thousands of copies of p24 actually meshed together—remained a mystery. The capsid's (relatively) large size,
non-symmetric shape, protein structure has stumped researchers' attempts to effectively model it. Earlier research had revealed that the p24 arranged itself in either
a pentagon or hexagon shape as part of the capsid structure, but how many of each and how the pieces fit together remained out of reach because science simply didn't
have the computational prowess to model this incredibly complex subatomic structure in atomic-level detail.

This problem required a petaflop-level supercomputer to solve, a class of machine that has only recently become readily available. The team turned to National Center
for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and its resident supercomputer, Blue Waters.

[Image: blue-waters.jpg]

It's only a matter of time until HIV goes the way of polio. And it's thanks in no small part to one beast of a computer.

Full, long article at Gizmodo.


If this is true, I wonder what big pharma is going to do. HIV/AIDS is a great business. It's not good for pharmaceutical companies to find a functional cure.

I doubt it. The most significant problem they have to deal with is that the virus "hides" and most people taking anti-retrovirals have no circulating virus. They are not even sure of all the places it hides. The question is, even if they get this to work, what cells are they going to target, and how are they going to target only certain cells, (in which HIV "hides").

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist
Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
31-05-2013, 07:30 PM
RE: Supercomputer May Have Finally Unlocked a Way to Beat HIV
I don't buy the big pharma conspiracy idea, yeah HIV is good business but a cure would be better business and there're plenty of other diseases to exploit so they'll never lose money thanks to a cure.

on the other hand, I don't get excited any more with this news, until I see the WHO vaccination campaign I won't trust any alleged cure

[Image: sigvacachica.png]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: