First images of the common cold virus

Cut away view of the common cold virus exposes RNA interior. Photo: University of Melbourne

Saving lives one 3D image at a time.

Although common cold isn’t perceived as a major health threat, if a patient has asthma or COPD, it may lead to complications that require hospitalisation. That is why, researchers at the University of Melbourne are developing a new antiviral drug to treat the common cold.

The team of researchers led by professor Michael Parker, from St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research and the University of Melbourne, is using IBM Blue Gene/Q, the most powerful supercomputer in the Southern Hemisphere, to generate 3D computer simulations of a virus. The images will help the researchers understand the way in which the new drug works. “Supercomputer technology enables us to delve deeper in the mechanisms at play inside a human cell, particularly how drugs work at a molecular level,” said Parker.

The images are also considered the first simulation of a common cold virus, and they are paving the way to better and more efficient medications. The technology may also hold the key to a healthier future, as it can help in the development of other antivirus treatments.

Viral capsid proteins with drug binding site in yellow. Image: University of Melbourne

Source: The University of Melbourne

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  1. Looks horrible inside! Just like how it makes you feel.

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