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Researchers Determine Chemical Structure of HIV Capsid

timothy posted about a year ago | from the new-line-of-attack dept.

Biotech 90

adeelarshad82 writes "Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have determined the precise chemical structure of the HIV 'capsid,' a protein shell that protects the virus's genetic material and is a key to its virulence. The experiment involved mapping an incredible 64 million atoms to simulate the HIV capsid, pictured here. Interestingly no current HIV drugs target the HIV capsid and researchers believe that understanding the structure of the HIV capsid may hold the key to the development of new and more effective antiretroviral drugs. What makes this whole experiment even more fascinating is the use of Blue Waters, a Cray XK7 supercomputer with 3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU accelerators."

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Africa (-1, Flamebait)

serkit (2358056) | about a year ago | (#43886167)

I'm sure people of African descent everywhere are glad to hear about this.

Re:Africa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43886685)

I'm sure people of African descent everywhere are glad to hear about this.

Africans will be a lot more glad if an effective drug ever comes out of this.

So did the capsid have PROPERTY OF US GOVERNMENT stamped on it? Unless you guys really believe the story about Africans having sex with monkeys and causing the origin of HIV. Appeals to latent racism but c'mon, HIV is just too effective and appeared too suddenly. The elite are known for their desire to have a lower human population. Something like AIDS is perfect for that - does the job but doesn't disrupt trade and continuity of gov't like some kind of super-ebola would do.

Re:Africa (1, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43886737)

Yeah, it's amazing how the evil bad guys had technology that was sixty years ahead of everybody else. Lemme guess, their cold-blooded space rulers gave them an R&D lab?

Mutations of the HIV virus (3, Informative)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#43887367)

Interestingly no current HIV drugs target the HIV capsid and researchers believe that understanding the structure of the HIV capsid may hold the key to the development of new and more effective antiretroviral drugs

Since the "discovery" of the HIV virus in the late 1980's scientists have discovered that the HIV virus has undergone several mutations
 
Even if there are drugs which can successfully targets the HIV capsid that have been decoded in this experiment, it does not mean that the HIV virus won't mutate again, and change their capsid sequence (or chemical formula) to foil those drugs
 
But all in all, the effort in sequencing the capsid is indeed a breakthrough, a step forward in understanding the nature of the bug, even if it's one type, amongst the many varieties

Re:Mutations of the HIV virus (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about a year ago | (#43888365)

The thing is, the capsid's only 'function' is to keep the contents safe and prevent the immune system from recognising it as a threat. Because of this, it can mutate very quickly while still being viable, because it doesn't contain any essential machinery for the virus's infection vectors. There is more genetic variance in the HIV population of a single person after a year of infection than there is in all mammals. Trying to create a drug which targets a non-essential, rapidly changing component, like the capsid, is like trying to kill mammals by targeting something with the nose of a mole, and expecting it to also work on elephants, whales and humans. All it does is select for the ones that don't have mole noses.

TLDR: creating a drug to target the capsid is useless because the capsid is non-essential to viral function and thus mutates extremely quickly.

Re:Mutations of the HIV virus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43889279)

How come this tactic is so effective in those monkeys they mention though? Maybe different capsids are a like enough to be target able by the same kind of drug.

Re: Mutations of the HIV virus (1)

janerules (940212) | about a year ago | (#43900879)

How about pepper?

Re:Africa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43888133)

Yeah, because sixty (actually more like forty) years ahead is like, totally impossible, and never happened, right [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Africa (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#43888185)

Indeed. The AC was wrong. HIV is a blood-borne disease, not an STD. It didn't get to humans through sex, but from butchering monkeys for food - get a little infected blood on a cut and you'll catch it.

The GP is obviously an anti-government tin foil hat wearer and racist to boot. I can't figure out why so many anti-intellectuals like him are spouting off in a nerd site.

Re:Africa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43894461)

Eh? HIV is not an STD? So it's safe for me not to wear condoms when I fuck all those different whores every night?

Re: Africa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43897275)

Have you heard of low amperage electric currents for stimulating the blood and irritating virus' imcluding HIV to leave the system? It's use was first studied by Havard and then MIT and had a 50% remission rate for HIV volunteers. Pretty recent also. I mean the story hasn't been out for more than 2 decades I think.

Re: Africa (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43897573)

50% is not good enough for medical science, they want guaranteed cures with well understood results. But if the WHITE PAPERS were fucking available to us we should be able to sell it as a non-medical treatment without guaranteed results.

Fat chance advertising it though and getting any credibility in our crazy ass fascist SCIENCE ONLY PLEASE culture.

There's also sound waves that break up and disturb pathogens as well. But no sonic waves can't do that... without harming the rest of the host. Bullshit.

-not posting in AC because these two under-rated techs deserve my full pseudonymous support.

I will ignore any people flaming or trolling me for conspiracy, or quackery. Go fuck yourselves and suffer the consequences of the life you chose. But don't chose it for others by lobbying against this stuff.

Re: Africa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43886829)

Point taken, but by design? No. By accident, yes! How are vaccines manufactured and what would the affect of contaminated vaccines delivered intravenous, with say a virus, have on a population exposed to them through a WHO program?

conspiracy or broken society? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43890135)

HIV is just too effective and appeared too suddenly.

How is it effective? It takes years to kill someone. And with treatment these days people with HIV have life spans equivalent to people with poorly controlled type II diabetes. Seems like if the evil government wanted to destroy us it would be easier to just sell us a lot of snack cakes and chocolate covered potato chips.

Are you really that surprised that a disease that transmits through the exchange of bodily fluids has spread through a society that thought that sex with anonymous strangers was acceptable behavior?

3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU (4, Insightful)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43886195)

I guess all those gamers aren't useless after all. You can thank me later for my donations to Nvidia's profits. So they could research and develop this technology.

The picture suggests ... (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43886269)

That there are numerous repeating elements in the capsid. Seems like this would be a perfect target for antibody formation. But obviously, that hasn't worked out. Be interesting to know why.

(Armchair biology is wonderfully simple, isn't it?)

Re:The picture suggests ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43886297)

Women can't act independently from men at all, and that is mainly because they desire to be dominated and subjugated by men. A woman's greatest pleasure is losing to a man, after all. Women who think they're better than men make me want to vomit and are nothing more than filthy sows!

Re:The picture suggests ... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43886301)

That there are numerous repeating elements in the capsid. Seems like this would be a perfect target for antibody formation. But obviously, that hasn't worked out. Be interesting to know why.

(Armchair biology is wonderfully simple, isn't it?)

The capsid is not exposed to the blood and therefore subject to interaction with antibodies. It's the layer beneath the viral capsule, and it is the capsule that is the most external layer which is exposed to the blood. Drug design will be likely to try and interact with the capsid once it is inside the cell and before it releases its payload

Re:The picture suggests ... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43886659)

So, aggressive drugs that could enter the virus could then be targeted to act on the capsid, sparing other cells/bacteria/viruses in the body.

I know nothing about this though, really.

Re:The picture suggests ... (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43887211)

I am not a biologist or very knowledgeable. However it seems according to this quote from the article:

While no current HIV drugs target the HIV capsid, it is seen as "an attractive target for the development of new antiretroviral drugs" because scientists have discovered that the disruption of capsid functioning via a protein produced by Rhesus monkeys has given them an immunity to HIV.

Perhaps some how managing to introduce something like you said into our biology that would damage the capsid once it was in a cell would allow nature to do the rest. And we would not even need further drugs.

Re:The picture suggests ... (1)

Ubi_NL (313657) | about a year ago | (#43888077)

the capsid doe not enter the cell. You need to administer that resus protein into the bloodstream where it will be a foreign substance and will induce an immune response

Re:The picture suggests ... (3, Informative)

Vesvvi (1501135) | about a year ago | (#43889237)

The capsid doesn't enter the cell, but it is produced there.

There are many possible lines of defense against viruses. Ignoring natural innate/adaptive immunity, you can block viral binding to cells (target receptors). You can interfere with replication of viral genomes (reverse transcription inhibitors, a big one for HIV). You can prevent assembly of new viruses (capsid inhibitors: http://jvi.asm.org/content/82/20/10262.full [asm.org] , note the way they used structure to guide their work). Or you can prevent viral capsid maturation (protease inhibitors, also big with HIV).

So while you can't target live (enveloped) virus with a capsid inhibitor (at least easily), you can prevent the formation of new virus. Here's a picture of what actually happens: http://jvi.asm.org/content/82/20/10262/F6.expansion.html [asm.org] . There should be nice tidy spheres of new capsids, and instead you get blobs of virally-useless junk.

Re:The picture suggests ... (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43889299)

Thanks for the awesome illustration of how the process works =)

Re:The picture suggests ... (1, Interesting)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43886417)

What really catches my eye, irrelevant as it may be to its biology, is the capsid's vague resemblance to a monarch chrysalis [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The picture suggests ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887221)

I would like to say that it the resemblance is indeed uncanny. However I am unsure that is the right word.

It's repeated by the data (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887235)

They didn't take a capsid. measure 64 million atoms and then simulate those atoms. They know what the capsid is made from, and they duplicated it up to the capacity of their supercomputer. The repeats are just a consequence of the small data they modeled from.

Next year, when they get an upgrade, they'll be modelling the same data into 128 million atoms, or 200 million atoms, to no extra benefit.

It reminds me of a Feyman story. How he used to make paints that could coat plastic. The competing company spend a fortune on an electron microscope thinking it would make them better, and instead they went out of business. All he had was a few test tubes, various acids and salts at his disposal. In the same way, this stuff has little to do with the cure for AIDs because its generates large amounts of simulated data not based on any new actual data.

But it does showcase their supercomputer.

Re:It's repeated by the data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887375)

That is interesting. Is it not possible to simulate drug interactions though? Or other biological interactions? Maybe we are staring through rose tinted glasses like you say though.

Re:The picture suggests ... (1)

Ubi_NL (313657) | about a year ago | (#43887889)

the repetitiveness of the capsid actually functions against antibodies, because the structure is immuno-dominant (so it attracts antibody targeting). However, binding of antibodies to the capsid does not inhibit the virus from infecting, as antibodies against virusses work via physical blockage of a molecular mechanism (like HA hexamerization) rather than act as a flag for termination by white blood cells.

Re:3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#43886283)

Talk about perspective. I doubt many people have ever bothered to stop and thing about it that way. I never did, but you are right. A vague analogy might along the lines: If Apple had not developed the first iPhone and functional tablet, none of our wonderful Android toys would be half as advanced as they are now, if they would even exits at all...

Of course smartphones and tablet are not capable of curing disease. That is a good 4 or 5 years off.

Re:3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43887231)

I must admit that my assumptions are partially untrue in a logical sense. As we cannot predict alternative time lines. But thank you for the praise =) I suppose in a sense all things we do like this as a society can lead to potentially good (and bad) things. I would like to think that we are all somehow capable of doing this unintentional good however =)

It is just as possible those GPUs could be used to make a weapon.

I suppose like you say it is entirely a matter of perspective. And in this case a good perspective is good to have =)

Re:3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887279)

If you really wish to go off the existential deep end. It is being used to make a weapon. A weapon against a virus. But a weapon regardless.

Re:3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU (-1, Flamebait)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#43887353)

This could still be used as a weapon. HIV is already practically designed to kill gay men and promiscuous women. They could use this to perfect that combo even more.

Re:3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43889939)

Charmin.

A Steve Jobs bowel movement post, and you don't even mention the band of toilet paper.

Re:3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43886415)

So they could research and develop this technology.

...and so that the future-formerly-sick people would be able to enjoy full life and not only Half Life.

Re:3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43886957)

So they could research and develop this technology.

...and so that the future-formerly-sick people would be able to enjoy full life and not only Half Life.

Doh... take a HalfLife and a HalfLife2 license and you have a full life cheaper than the treatment will cost.

Re:3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about a year ago | (#43888063)

So that's why they never released the third one.

Re:3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | about a year ago | (#43901169)

Now I am angry again

Re:3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU (1, Funny)

formfeed (703859) | about a year ago | (#43886975)

I guess all those gamers aren't useless after all. You can thank me later for my donations to Nvidia's profits.

Of course. People buying a Nvidia Tesla have a significantly lower risk of contracting HIV.

But who knew, they're also helping to fund research.

this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43886275)

We'll have +100 exaFLOP systems in five years, 100 times the performance. Major structures in cells, and complete viruses, will be modelled to the atomic level

Re:this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43886349)

I think I'll hold out for a zettaFLOP system myself.

Re:this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43886363)

(1) 100 is 10,000 times .01
(2) you know this because _____

Re:this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (1)

inflamed (1156277) | about a year ago | (#43886383)

We'll have +100 exaFLOP systems in five years, 100 times the performance. Major structures in cells, and complete viruses, will be modelled to the atomic level

Waiting for faster interconnects!

Re:this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43886819)

We'll have +100 exaFLOP systems in five years, 100 times the performance. Major structures in cells, and complete viruses, will be modelled to the atomic level

And yet, I wonder if we'll actually see a true cure for any of the major diseases inflicting mankind today, instead of simply more powerful "drugs", ensuring perpetual revenue streams.

Oh, I'm being cynical and pessimistic?

Greed has killed millions. If you want to argue against that fact, go talk to a wall.

Re:this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887017)

No, you're just being a cock.

Re: this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43901853)

The Berlin Wall?

Soon we'll be able to model coal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887259)

Well currently we can only model a lump of carbon less than a microns across, but in a few years we'll be able to model a whole lump of coal and then finally we'll be able to figure out how coal burns in a fire!

"Major structures in cells, and complete viruses, will be modelled to the atomic level"

All you'll do is generate a huge amount of data that adds nothing of value, because the data you're modelling from comes from the tiny pieces of data you already now, no *new* insight is gained from taking that data and modelling more copies of it.

You make noise not data.

Really this kind of pseudo science takes money from AIDS researchers and puts it into computer science instead. Which is great for IBM & Cray but doesn't help cure AIDS, or even understand how a lump of coal burns.

Re:Soon we'll be able to model coal (2)

The Master Control P (655590) | about a year ago | (#43887643)

All you'll do is generate a huge amount of data that adds nothing of value, because the data you're modelling from comes from the tiny pieces of data you already now, no *new* insight is gained from taking that data and modelling more copies of it.

Much like there's no point building weather prediction computers, since all we do is put data we already have from weather stations into them, and no point building FEM simulators for structural engineering since we already know how a single girder acts under stress.

Or... could it be that multiple simple elements can interact in ways that are not meaningfully predicted by an understanding of individual elements? NAW!

Re:Soon we'll be able to model coal (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43888683)

breakthroughs in AIDS research have in fact come from supercomputer modeling.

Strange we have the simple equations of gravitation, but can't solve them for even the simple general case of three interacting bodies. But we can use numerical methods on supercomputer good enough for modeling interactions of millions of gravitational bodies. Something must be wrong about your assumptions.

Re:Soon we'll be able to model coal (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | about a year ago | (#43901177)

the simple general case of three interacting bodies.

You scientist types are all perverts, aren't you?

Re:this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43887433)

We'll have +100 exaFLOP systems in five years, 100 times the performance

Exaflops?! And those suckers are electrical? Great Scott! We'll need a Nuclear Reaction to produce the 1.21 Jiggawahts of electricity required to power such things!

Re:this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887687)

Major structures in cells, and complete viruses, will be modelled to the atomic level

yeah... but is that Ab-initio modeled or "vague handwavy QSAR modeled"?

Re:this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (1)

inflamed (1156277) | about a year ago | (#43890413)

The state of the art on GPUs is the latter.

Re:this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (1)

Raul654 (453029) | about a year ago | (#43888335)

"We'll have +100 exaFLOP systems in five years" - that's totally untrue. There's an active debate going on in the field whether or not we'll be at 1 exaflop by 2020. We absolutely will not get to 100 before then.

Re:this was with 0.011 exaFLOPS (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43888653)

oh really. so Intel's promise to deliver such a system by 2018 to DOE and NNSA is nonsense. or the Indian government's 2017 system by the ISRO and ISRC? see you in five years....

Expected (0)

Dan East (318230) | about a year ago | (#43886355)

Amazing, because that's exactly how I envisioned the HIV capsid would look, except in red and blue.

Re:Expected (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43886431)

It looks like a potato with a few buds sprouting. I wonder if they tried homeopathy. Perhaps the potato blight could be efficient against the virus, if you dilute it sufficiently.

Re:Expected (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43886449)

Oh, sorry, my bad. That was supposed to be sympathetic magic, not homeopathy. Ever since the discovery of phlogiston, I have had hard time trying to keep pace with these modern scientific developments.

Re:Expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43886513)

Yes, but macroscopic potato is good for you. If homeopathy holds true, it stands to reason that microscopic potatoes are deadly. Here we have our proof.

Re:Expected (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43886699)

Actually phlogiston makes a lot of sense until you consider the oxidation of iron. Phlogiston is how science is supposed to work - put up a theory, test it to destruction then work on what that tells you, such as the existence of oxygen and not just a single type of gas.

its a tesselated icosohedron (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43886529)

just like a geodesic dome, thats kind of interesting

Re:its a tesselated icosohedron (4, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43886909)

just like a geodesic dome, thats kind of interesting

Oh, cool, we can kill AIDS with zoning ordinances.

Re:its a tesselated icosohedron (2)

Y-Crate (540566) | about a year ago | (#43887055)

just like a geodesic dome, thats kind of interesting

Oh, cool, we can kill AIDS with zoning ordinances.

HIV is no match for an HOA!

Re:its a tesselated icosohedron (1)

jcr (53032) | about a year ago | (#43887173)

No, HIV infests the HOA and makes it do stupid things like order your neighbors to paint their door a different color.

-jcr

Re:its a tesselated icosohedron (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#43890649)

If you don't want to live by the rules of an HOA, don't buy a house that is subject to them. It's not as if you don't have a choice.

Re:its a tesselated icosohedron (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887881)

That's so apartheid, right there. I'm calling for UN sanctions and US condemnation for that post!! In other news, Le Pen has invented a method to cure AIDS.

shock and horror.
  It's 32 decrees here in the North so anything goes.

Re:its a tesselated icosohedron (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43897227)

I was thinking it looked like a crochet potato cozy

Re:its a tesselated icosohedron (1)

fritsd (924429) | about a year ago | (#43887693)

have you ever seen electon microscope pictures of bacteriophage T4 virus? they're dodecahedrons. I kid you not. It looks like H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds".

Re:its a tesselated icosohedron (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | about a year ago | (#43901185)

Is there a wumpus inside?

3000 GPUs ought to be enough for anyone ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43886655)

... or at least any supercomputer.

After all, 3 is the new 640.

Re:3000 GPUs ought to be enough for anyone ... (1)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year ago | (#43886991)

But can it run Crysis?

Re:3000 GPUs ought to be enough for anyone ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887249)

Crysis runs on a fairly wide range of hardware. It is a fairly flexible engine.

No Cures, just more drugs, drugs drugs... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43886793)

No cure? Not a shock, lets not cure anything only continue to fuel the drug industry.

This is why the medical industry is disappointing, if they had smallpox with today's medical industry, they wouldn't find a cure they would only create drugs. The funny part is back in the old days of medicine doctors and researchers were interested in finding cures and creating cures. Today it is all about making a profit and continuing to make profits. So while it is great to have the ability far more tech, yet we are so far from actually curing anything, and I would only chance at that is if the industry collapsed or private wealthy persons decide they can break the glass bubble.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/05/31/187570952/d-c-agency-approves-2-high-tech-cancer-centers

Re:No Cures, just more drugs, drugs drugs... (1)

headwes (728006) | about a year ago | (#43887013)

Smallpox was never cured--they just developed a vaccine for it. New vaccines continue to be developed, for example hand foot and mouth disease (2013), HPV (2006), rotavirus (1998), Lyme disease (1998), hepatitis A (1992), and the list goes on...

Re:No Cures, just more drugs, drugs drugs... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887031)

I've wondered along these lines in the past.

It's almost certain that the drug industry isn't deliberately withholding cures. Competition still exists between companies, and thanks to patents any novel cure would print money for the company that controlled it. It's not like they're in danger of running out of diseases to treat if they manage to cure a couple, is it?

But I think you're on to something with the pursuit of profit not being the best driving force for medical innovation. The cost of each dead end in drug research keeps going up as the easy fruit has been plucked already, so do drug companies want to put big money into high risk-reward scenarios? Or, as with Hollywood, would they prefer to tweak a few existing and proven blockbusters, pretend it's a new formula, and put more into advertising?

We've plateaued, perhaps, but the good news is that each new leap in neighboring technologies may lower the cost of research and ultimately of cures. I'm excited about the potential for other drug delivery systems such as artificial viruses or nanotechnology, for example.

Re:No Cures, just more drugs, drugs drugs... (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | about a year ago | (#43887671)

The funny part is back in the old days of medicine doctors and researchers were interested in finding cures and creating cures. Today it is all about making a profit and continuing to make profits.

Yeah, greed is totally a modern invention brought about by The Evil Corporations. I think my eyes just rolled a full 360*.

Re:No Cures, just more drugs, drugs drugs... (1)

hrvatska (790627) | about a year ago | (#43887945)

It has always been about making a profit. It's just that there is more profit to be made in the US today due to a general lack of transparency of costs and a disconnect between costs and outcomes. If you can get past the paywall there is a great article in today's NY Times [nytimes.com] on part of the reason why medical care costs so much in the US.

Still (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about a year ago | (#43887209)

Too bad it's Nvidia, still only puts out 1 Gigahash.

Re:Still (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | about a year ago | (#43901189)

Makes your eyes red just thinking about it

The supercomputer was the point of that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887213)

They didn't need to simulate the *whole* capsid, it's homogeneous and any variations in it are unknowns, its like simulating 64 million atoms of carbon to understand graphene... completely pointless when a small number will do.

Illinois only just got its supercomputer finished, courtesy of a gift from the National Science Foundation, and now needs to justify that budget:
http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/29/blue-waters-supercomputer-now-online-24-7/

And Aids research is the 'cute puppies' justificaton, it's like climate research or other good deads, but actually their contribution to the science is nothing more than PR.

Re:The supercomputer was the point of that (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#43888137)

From wikipedia:

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is an American state-federal partnership to develop and deploy national-scale cyberinfrastructure that advances science and engineering. NCSA operates as a unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, although it provides high-performance computing resources to researchers across the country. Support for NCSA comes from the National Science Foundation, the state of Illinois, the University of Illinois, business and industry partners, and other federal agencies.

NCSA provides leading-edge computing, data storage, and visualization resources. NCSA computational and data environment implements a multi-architecture hardware strategy, deploying both clusters and shared memory systems to support high-end users and communities on the architectures best-suited to their requirements. Nearly 1,360 scientists, engineers and students used the computing and data systems at NCSA to support research in more than 830 projects. A list of NCSA hardware is available at NCSA.

History
A plaque commemorating the creation of Mosaic web browser, in front of the new NCSA building

NCSA is one of the five original centers in the National Science Foundation's Supercomputer Centers Program.

Larry Smarr wrote a proposal to address the future needs of scientific research. Seven other University of Illinois professors joined as co-principal investigators, and many others provided descriptions of what could be accomplished if the proposal were accepted. Known as the Black Proposal (after the color of its cover), it was submitted to the NSF in 1983. It met the NSF's mandate and its contents immediately generated excitement. However, the NSF had no organization in place to support it, and the proposal itself did not contain a clearly defined home for its implementation.

The NSF established an Office of Scientific Computing in 1984 and, with strong congressional support, it quickly announced a national competition that would fund a set of supercomputer centers like the one described in the Black Proposal.[4] The result was that four supercomputer centers would be chartered (Cornell, Illinois, Princeton, and San Diego), with a fifth (Pittsburgh) added later.

U of I has been a supercomputing center for decades. It's where the tevatron, the largest atom smasher there was before the LHC was completed.

The AC's comment is pretty trollish, annoying, and incorrect. I can't figure out why anti-research people like him come to a nerd site.

Re:The supercomputer was the point of that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43891601)

They didn't need to simulate the *whole* capsid, it's homogeneous and any variations in it are unknowns,

I don't see any AIDS research papers with your name on them.

its like simulating 64 million atoms of carbon to understand graphene... completely pointless when a small number will do.

I also don't see any graphene research papers with your name on them.

Illinois only just got its supercomputer finished, courtesy of a gift from the National Science Foundation, and now needs to justify that budget:

So, you think 1984 was "just" a moment ago?

http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/29/blue-waters-supercomputer-now-online-24-7/

And thank you for providing a link that shows all of your related statements as false.

And Aids research is the 'cute puppies' justificaton, it's like climate research or other good deads, but actually their contribution to the science is nothing more than PR.

Lastly, I do not see any climate research papers with your name on them either.

So let's sum up, shall we?
You do not understand medicine, you do not understand materials, you do not understand time, and you don't understand weather.

On the up side, at least you are correct about puppies being cute.
You more than deserve a pat on the head for that one, despite the massively repeated smacks upside the head for literally everything else.

What a waste (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43887493)

Should use that power for mining bitcoin instead.

Re:What a waste (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year ago | (#43888207)

For various reasons NVIDIA's architecture is not optimal for bitcoin mining. But as you can see, it is quite powerful in other problem spaces.

Capsid Inhibitors Already Being Developed (3, Interesting)

dplentini (1334979) | about a year ago | (#43887899)

Check out U.S. Patent Publication Nos. 20130053267 and 20120302556 (among others from the same assignee). Capsid structures, like protein structures, can be useful starting points for drug development. Ultimately, however, the goal is to find a substance that will kill the disease without killing the patient. So far, no computer graphics package has replaced the grunt work of medicinal chemistry---methyl, ethyl, butyl, futile.

HIV is not the cause of 'AIDS' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43888977)

And 99.9% of Slashdotters don't even know what 'AIDS' is.

Indicator disease + HIV = AIDS
Indicator disease - HIV = Indicator disease

It is a circular definition, and thererfore useless.

If 'AIDS' was caused by a sexually transmitted virus, million of Americans would be dead, because STDs have been rising every year for the past thirty years.

Seriously - 99% of you haven't got a clue about the opposing point of view, yet pretend to be 'scientific', all the while calling those who question the official hypothesis 'heretics' who must be silenced.

Re:HIV is not the cause of 'AIDS' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43890605)

You're right. HIV is not "the" cause of AIDS, but then again, not a single published paper in the history of the disease has made that claim.

HIV is "a" cause of AIDS. AIDS is defined as having a CD4 T-cell count 200 per microlitre.

Many medical conditions can cause AIDS, and HIV is only one of them.

Nobody has ever claimed that HIV is the one and only cause of AIDS.

Re:HIV is not the cause of 'AIDS' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43890703)

You probably shouldn't base your position on information from the late 1980s.

real virus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43890327)

Can you please show me a real picture of the HIV virus?

Easy way to eradicate HIV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43894485)

People are spending way too much money and effort to find the cure when there's a really simple way to prevent the infection. Just stop having sex with whores and faggots. Problem solved.

Re:Easy way to eradicate HIV (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | about a year ago | (#43901193)

Can I keep sharing needles with them?
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