The world's most powerful supercomputer was called to help against the new coronavirus. The IBM Summit has identified 77 potential substances that could block the proliferation of SARS-CoV-2. Substances must now go through the experiment phase.
The new Sars-CoV-2 virus spreads at an incredible rate all over the world, so scientists have called to help the spreading heavy-weight champion among computers. IBM pressed an imaginary start button on the world's most powerful supercomputer.
Computing machine called Summit and given the task of finding substances to help fight the disease COVID-19. Within a few thousand simulations, the Summit discovered 77 promising candidates. Scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory published the results in the scientific journal ChemRxiv.
Days instead of months
The construction of the Summit was commissioned in 2014 by the US Department of Energy. The purpose was clear. The summit will address the most pressing problems of mankind. The computer performance reaches an incredible 200 petaflops. Flops are units of computational power and the prefix peta is fifteen numerical orders. Because this supercomputer can do 200 trillion operations per second, and the analysis took only two days compared to the usual few months, one scientist explained.
A similar result can be achieved with a laptop, but its computing capacity must increase more than a million times. But the Summit supercomputer does not only solve the problems around the world pandemic. In the past, he helped develop a method for recognizing Alzheimer's disease, predicting extreme weather associated with climate change, or figuring out how mankind could land on the moon. The summit comes from twins. His sibling Sierra specializes in secret military calculations around nuclear weapons.
Just the beginning
The virus infects host cells by inserting its genetic material using a protein tip at its tip. The summit was looking for substances that could theoretically wrap this spike and prevent further virus reproduction. A team of scientists created a nib model using a January study from China, and the Summit then simulated how the individual substances would react. Of the eight thousand substances, the supercomputer identified 77 small molecules, which he also sorted by how promising they seem.
Scientists now want to have the Summit simulated again as more detailed analysis of the new coronavirus tip was published this month. Unfortunately, this is all that a supercomputer can now help. Now it is time for experiments and tests to see which substances are the best.
"Our results do not mean we have come up with coronavirus treatment," said Jeremy Smith, director of Oak Ridge Laboratory Center, in a statement. "We hope our results will help future studies and provide some sort of cornerstone that scientists will use in their experiments to further explore these substances," he added.