NEWS COMMENTARY

Scientists use the world's fastest supercomputer to search for COVID-19 treatments

Published:
April 06, 2020
Coverage:
Accelerating Materials Innovation More...
Activities:
Research
by Xiao Zhong
Very important

A typical virus infects its host through binding sites, and COVID-19 is no exception. Researchers from the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Lab are using SUMMIT, the world's faster supercomputer built by IBM, to screen for small-molecule drugs that can prevent COVID-19 binding. Balancing the many years it takes to develop a drug from scratch and the extreme urgency created by the pandemic, this work focuses on screening over 8,000 approved drugs, metabolites, and natural products. They came up with seven compounds that are already available. While this work does not rely on an accurate crystal structure of COVID-19, it sheds light on a potential treatment, and the use of supercomputers can accelerate the screening process.

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