Supercomputers reveal how virus moves

A cure for HIV may have taken a step closer after supercomputers revealed how the virus moves

The simulation took two years to complete and involved analysing 64 million atoms of the HIV virus A brief glimpse into how HIV travels through the body has been simulated for the first time on supercomputers in the US.

For two years, multiple supercomputers at the University of Illinois modelled the behaviour of 64 million atoms to capture 1.2 microseconds of the life of an HIV capsid, a protein cage that transports the HIV virus to the nucleus of a human cell. The capsid simulation was performed on the Department of Energy's Titan supercomputer, while analysis was made using the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the university. Described as “computational microscopy,” the method of studying large biological systems with molecular dynamics simulations was developed and led by Juan Perilla and the late Klaus Schulten.

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