Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First Big Success For Smallpox Research Project

Date:
October 2, 2003
Source:
University Of Oxford
Summary:
The first stage in finding a treatment for smallpox, a potential threat as a potent weapon of bioterror, is complete. Professor Graham Richards, Chairman of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, together with research and industry partners, will deliver the results of the Smallpox Research Grid project to representatives from the United States Department of Defense.

The first stage in finding a treatment for smallpox, a potential threat as a potent weapon of bioterror, is complete. Professor Graham Richards, Chairman of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, together with research and industry partners, will deliver the results of the Smallpox Research Grid project to representatives from the United States Department of Defense today [Tuesday 30 September].

The smallpox grid project, which was launched in February this year, made use of idle times of home computers around the world in order to find a drug to combat the effects of the smallpox virus after infection. Volunteers from over 190 countries contributed over 39,000 years of computing time in less than six months.

The virus packs its DNA in a tightly coiled form to make it small enough for transport, but needs the enzyme to unwind again in order to replicate. If a molecule can be found to block the enzyme, the virus will not be able to replicate, and the spread of the disease can be halted.

The project screened 35 million potential drug molecules against eight models of the smallpox protein to determine if any of the drug-like molecules would bind to the smallpox protein, rendering it inactivated. Preliminary results have dramatically narrowed the field of molecules that can be considered lead candidates for the next phase of research.

Professor Richards said: 'This represents massive progress in thwarting the threat of smallpox but also a significant opportunity for all life science research. This resource has the potential to find leads against both bioterror and disease agents in a fraction of the time science is accustomed to.

'The smallpox project could also have implications for cancer therapy, as some cancers also have their DNA supercoiled, which means that an enzyme blocker could potentially be used to slow cancer replication and growth.'

Tom Hawk, General Manager at Grid Computing, IBM, said: 'The results of the Smallpox Research Grid are a dramatic illustration of the power of Grid computing to harness the world's computing resources to improve the lives of people around the globe. IBM believes the potential of Grid computing to address similar grand scale research projects is unlimited.'

Notes:

In addition to researchers at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) who funded the project, technologies and services provided by IBM, United Devices, Accelrys, Evotec OAI, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research and Essex University were necessary in making the project a success.

Further details about the project can be found on http://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/smallpox/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Oxford. "First Big Success For Smallpox Research Project." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031002060419.htm>.
University Of Oxford. (2003, October 2). First Big Success For Smallpox Research Project. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031002060419.htm
University Of Oxford. "First Big Success For Smallpox Research Project." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031002060419.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins