Discovery may revolutionize new drug discoveries, disease research
Research from York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, has found a new set of algorithms that can help determine the 3D structure of proteins to one day find new treatments for a range of diseases including Alzheimer’s, HIV and cancer. The research, published in the current edition of the journal Nature Methods, shows that these new algorithms rapidly generate 3-D structures of viruses, which could revolutionize the development of new drug therapies.
One of the lead researchers on the project, Assistant Professor Marcus Brubaker, at the Lassonde School of Engineering, says that cryo-EM, had previously been a computationally demanding task.
“Collecting data on an electron microscope might take a few hours or maybe a day or two,” says Brubaker. “However, processing that data to determine the 3D structure would require weeks or even months of computation time on large, expensive computer clusters. Our work now makes this possible in a few hours on a relatively inexpensive desktop computer.”
Brubaker adds, the dramatic change in processing times not only speeds up the existing process, but will also enable experts to dig even deeper into their data to discover new biology that wouldn't have been practical before.
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