Understanding how proteins move and work is important to find a medicine for coronavirus.
Proteins are molecular machines that perform many functions we associate with life. They sense the environment, perform work, and play structural roles. They are made of a linear chain of chemicals called amino acids that, in many cases, spontaneously “fold” into compact, functional structures.
Much like any other machine, it’s how a protein’s components are arranged and move that determine the protein’s function. But proteins have lots of moving parts, so scientists at foldingathome.org are running simulations to really want to see the protein in action.
Viruses also have proteins that they use to suppress our immune systems and reproduce themselves. To help tackle coronavirus, understanding how these viral proteins work is the key to design therapeutics to stop them.
In one of their recent papers, they have simulated a protein from Ebola virus that is typically considered ‘undruggable’ because the snapshots from experiments don’t have obvious druggable sites. But, their simulations uncovered an alternative structure that does have a druggable site.
See this protein simulation video.
And, they want to do the same thing with coronavirus.
Now, you might be thinking about how all this is related to you and how you can help finding a medicine. Well, all you have to do is donating your computer’s computing power by simply downloading their protein simulation software and running the simulations.
By running the simulations at your home, you are directly donating your computer’s power to help them run more simulations at a time. Head to their website and you can find more details and steps to follow.
Apart from trying to find cure for COVID-19, the distributed computing project also work on finding cures for diseases like cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Influenza and many others.
Watch this video and know more about FoldingatHome.