In the race to
fight AIDS, researchers have long worked to view the moments at which
“starter molecules” for HIV are most vulnerable to new drugs. With help
from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and Silicon
Graphics (OTC: SGIDE), a group of scientists from Stony Brook University in New York have done just that. The breakthrough comes as the world marks the 25th anniversary of the discovery of HIV.
Working on an SGI(R) Altix(R) system located at NCSA, the Stony Brook team recently achieved computer simulations that offer insight into the mechanics of HIV protease, a molecule that slices the pre-HIV protein chain into pieces that ultimately evolve into a mature virus. By modeling how HIV protease works across time, researchers hope to determine how best to target it with medicines that could stop the molecule from doing its job and thus prevent the HIV virus from developing altogether.