FIZ Karlsruhe participates in the research initiative Folding@Home by providing IT resources. This initiative aims to use globally distributed computing capacity to simulate as quickly as possible the spatial movement and folding of such proteins, which can play an important role in the development of vaccines and therapeutics, currently primarily for combating the coronavirus.
Proteins fulfil many vital functions. They consist of a linear chain of chemicals, known as amino acids, which in many cases spontaneously "fold" into compact, functional structures. The way the tiny components of a protein are arranged and move determines the function of the protein.
Viruses also have proteins with which they suppress our immune system and reproduce themselves.
In order to be able to fight the coronavirus, researchers want to understand how these viral proteins function so that they can develop vaccines and drugs. The computer capacities made available worldwide will accelerate the calculations with which the researchers at Stanford University in California want to find out how the proteins of the coronaviruses behave when suppressing the immune system and reproducing themselves.