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Local Researchers Hoping Supercomputer will Aid in Combating Avian Flu

A team of UC San Diego researchers are hoping San Diego's Supercomputer Center will help doctors develop new drugs to fight a potential avian flu outbreak. The disease has provoked worldwide concern b

Local Researchers Hoping Supercomputer will Aid in Combating Avian Flu

A team of UC San Diego researchers are hoping San Diego's Supercomputer Center will help doctors develop new drugs to fight a potential avian flu outbreak. The disease has provoked worldwide concern because human have no natural protection against the virsu, and there is a limited medical arsenal. 

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UC San Diego professor Andrew McCammon says the team has already identified about two dozen potential drug candidates.

<b> McCammon: </b> By using the supercomputer, what we're able to do is take a model of the protein or enzyme molecule and model how all the enzymes move around in the enzyme over a fairly long period of time. 

McCammon says predicting an enzymes behavior allows researchers to develop drugs that stop unwanted behavior. He says the process has already led to anti-aids drugs. McCammon says the process could cut new drug development time in half.