Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

3-D motion of cold virus offers hope for improved drugs using Australia's fastest supercomputer

Date:
July 17, 2012
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
Researchers are now simulating in 3-D, the motion of the complete human rhinovirus, the most frequent cause of the common cold, on Australia's fastest supercomputer, paving the way for new drug development.

Surface rendering of the common cold virus.
Credit: University of Melbourne

Melbourne researchers are now simulating in 3D, the motion of the complete human rhinovirus, the most frequent cause of the common cold, on Australia's fastest supercomputer, paving the way for new drug development.

Related Articles


Rhinovirus infection is linked to about 70 per cent of all asthma exacerbations with more than 50 per cent of these patients requiring hospitalisation. Furthermore, over 35 per cent of patients with acute chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are hospitalised each year due to respiratory viruses including rhinovirus.

A new antiviral drug to treat rhinovirus infections is being developed by Melbourne company Biota Holdings Ltd, targeted for those with these existing conditions where the common cold is a serious threat to their health and could prove fatal.

A team of researchers led by Professor Michael Parker from St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research (SVI) and the University of Melbourne is now using information on how the new drug works to create a 3D simulation of the complete rhinovirus using Australia's fastest supercomputer.

"Our recently published work with Biota shows that the drug binds to the shell that surrounds the virus, called the capsid. But that work doesn't explain in precise detail how the drug and other similar acting compounds work," Professor Parker said.

Professor Parker and his team are working on the newly installed IBM Blue Gene/Q at the University of Melbourne with computational biologists from IBM and the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI).

In production from 1 July 2012, the IBM Blue Gene/Q is the most powerful supercomputer dedicated to life sciences research in the Southern Hemisphere and currently ranked the fastest in Australia.

"The IBM Blue Gene/Q will provide us with extraordinary 3D computer simulations of the whole virus in a time frame not even dreamt of before," Professor Parker said.

"Supercomputer technology enables us to delve deeper in the mechanisms at play inside a human cell, particularly how drugs work at a molecular level.

"This work offers exciting opportunities for speeding up the discovery and development of new antiviral treatments and hopefully save many lives around the world," he said.

Professor Parker said that previously we have only been able to run smaller simulations on just parts of the virus. Professor James McCluskey Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Melbourne said:

"The work on rhinovirus is an example of how new approaches to treat disease will become possible with the capacity of the IBM Blue Gene Q, exactly how we hoped this extraordinary asset would be utilised by the Victorian research community in collaboration with IBM."

"This is a terrific facility for Victorian life science researchers, further strengthening Victoria's reputation as a leading biotechnology centre," he said.

Dr John Wagner, Manager, IBM Research Collaboratory for Life Sciences-Melbourne, co located at VLSCI, said these types of simulations are the way of the future for drug discovery.

"This is the way we do biology in the 21st Century," he said. The newly operational IBM Blue Gene/Q hosted by the University of Melbourne at the VLSCI is ranked 31st on the prestigious global TOP500 list.

The TOP500 table nominates the 500 most powerful computer systems in the world.

The VLSCI is an initiative of the Victorian Government in partnership with the University of Melbourne and the IBM Life Sciences Research Collaboratory, Melbourne.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "3-D motion of cold virus offers hope for improved drugs using Australia's fastest supercomputer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120717100246.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2012, July 17). 3-D motion of cold virus offers hope for improved drugs using Australia's fastest supercomputer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120717100246.htm
University of Melbourne. "3-D motion of cold virus offers hope for improved drugs using Australia's fastest supercomputer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120717100246.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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