The fastest supercomputer
The rate at which the novel virus is spreading is extraordinary. Making it a challenge for scientists. It triggers them to work within the clock. The issue at hand is finding a cure for the virus. The virus has sped up its spread across all the continents. Since the virus is unknown, it is difficult to know the suitable protection needed to stimulate the body to protect itself. Scientists, however, are trying to find out the most effective and safe construction of the virus code. With the help of the supercomputer, they might reach at a solution.
Why is summit likely to aid in finding a cure for coronavirus?
Seemingly the world’s fastest computer conducts the scientific research processes. They refer to it as the summit. The US Department of Energy commissioned the computer in 2014 to solve world problems. They station it in Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The computer has the power of 200 petaflops to mean it is one million times more powerful than the fastest laptop. They equip it with the ‘brain of Al’.
According to the analysis by researchers from Oak Bridge National Laboratory, the summit identified 77 compounds that could bind to the spike of the virus. The findings preceded thousands of simulations to analyze which drug compound will prevent the novel virus from spreading to other host cells.
How does summit fight coronavirus?
Coronavirus infects the host cells by injecting them with a spike of corona genetic material. Hence leading to contraction of the virus. Following early researches, the summit has identified compounds that may combat the virus. Scientists screened over 8000 drug compounds to identify one most likely to bind with the main spike protein of the virus. If a drug binds to the spike protein, it will prevent the virus from infecting host cells. During the screening process they identified about77 drug compounds during the research.
Volunteers step up for coronavirus vaccine trials.
Two American citizens, Neal Browning and Jennifer Haller volunteered to take part in the virus vaccine trial to help researchers combat the virus. The two were in a group of 45 healthy selected individuals. Speaking to CNN, Browning said he volunteered because of his urge for the pandemic to end. He also said that since he is healthy enough, why not take part in a challenge that would bring change?
Haller said she volunteered because she feels privileged. In the sense that she is healthy and surrounded by a supportive family. She, therefore, saw it as an opportunity to bring change.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious disease is funding the vaccine testing program. The trial began on Monday and will run for six weeks. The body in charge of the trial is Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.
Step one is to ensure the safety upon administering the vaccine. It relies on checking if the person’s immune system gives the desired response. Consequently, the person’s body response is checked i.e. body temperature. According to Browning, the researchers used a new technique for the process.
“They’re using a new technique that teaches cells in my body to build protein structures that resemble the outer shell of the actual coronavirus. My body should react to that and see it as a foreign invader, attack it, and learn how to combat that structure that’s been built.”