Thursday, October 14, 2010


Custom-Built Supercomputer Brings Protein Folding Into View

"Scientists have long been frustrated in their efforts to use computers to simulate the atomic detail of how proteins fold into their three-dimensional structures. The computing demands for simulating all the motions of a protein's atoms and the surrounding water are so high that scientists have had difficulty tracking the myriad atomic wiggles and gyrations for long enough to see the complete folding process. But now help is on the way. On page 341, computational biologists led by computer scientist and former hedge fund manager David Shaw report that they ran a specially built supercomputer for about 3 weeks to simulate a relatively small protein going through 15 rounds of folding and unfolding over 200 microseconds. They also tracked the folding gyrations of a similarly sized protein for more than a millisecond." Full news article @ Science

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