The world's fastest supercomputer joins the battle against coronavirus — and it's speeding up the hunt for a cure
fastest supercomputerin the world, IBM’s Summit, identified 77 chemicals that can keep coronavirusfrom spreading.
- Using that information, scientists have been able to create a 3D map of a protein within the virus that is necessary for Coronavirus to replicate itself.
- They are currently working on a way to target that protein.
AdvertisementThe hunt for a cure against coronavirus needed to speed up — and the world’s fastest
“While a normal computer would have taken months to do this analysis, it only took Summit a few days,” said the US Department of Energy (DOE). Within that short time period, the team examined more than 7 lakh viral genomes and simulated more than 8,000 different compounds.
They used the supercomputer to model how different drug compounds might prevent the infection from spreading to other cells in the body, according to the study published ChemRix.
Creating a 3D map to find the coronavirus’ weaknesses
Using the information from Summit, scientists were able to create a 3D map of a protein within the virus that medication may be able to target. The protein is crucial for the virus to be able to replicate itself. It’s also similar to a protein found during the SARS-CoV outbreak.
Infact, it’s so similar that drug companies may already have something in the works that can be ‘tweaked’ to address the coronavirus.
According to experts, this is crucial step in not just creating a vaccine — but one that maximises effectiveness. Scientists are also mapping other proteins within the virus to see any available drugs can treat the virus.
Summit is doing exactly what it was built for
Summit was built to solve the world’s worst problems when DOE first commissioned it in 2014.
It can compute over 200 quadrillion calculations per second with the power of 200 petafolds to back it up. In comparison to the world’s fastest laptop — the Summit is a million times more powerful with processors stacked up to six feet high.
Even though the DOE doesn’t directly fund or conduct any medical work, it’s asking scientists to send it their ideas on how any of its tools — like the Summit supercomputer — can be used to help fight the deadly pandemic.
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