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November-December News Briefs


November 16, 2010 | November-December Briefs

Millisecond Modeling

Bringing to fruition a project he discussed at the Bio-IT World Expo in 2006, David E. Shaw and his colleagues at DE Shaw Research have successfully modeled protein folding and conformational change over the course of a millisecond on their purpose-built supercomputer, Anton. Researchers focused on two proteins: a WW domain, a small, independently folding protein domain, and bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI). Extremely long all-atom simulations were conducted revealing multiple folding and unfolding events that consistently follow a well-defined folding pathway. The work was published in the October 15 issue of Science.

Best Practices Call for Entries

The 2011 Bio•IT World Best Practices competition has released its call for entries. Since 2003, Bio•IT World’s Best Practices competition has been recognizing outstanding examples of technology and strategic innovation initiatives across the drug discovery enterprise.  Winners will be announced in April at the 2010 Bio-IT World Conference and Expo (see p. 26) at a gala Best Practices dinner. The deadline for entry is January 14, 2011, and the early bird deadline is December 19, 2010.

Same Genes, Different Activity

Researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have found that the same genes have different activity patterns in the brain in individuals with different genetic backgrounds. These findings may help to explain individual differences in the effectiveness and side-effect profiles of therapeutic drugs and thus have implications for personalized medicine. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Public Funding

SciFlies.org aims to connect scientists seeking research project funding with thousands of donors who wish to support their work directly. Formally launched in November, SciFlies allows scientists affiliated with universities or research institutions to present their project needs and goals in terms that the general public will understand.  Donors can then make direct, tax-deductible contributions to the projects of their choice through the site.  The funds are deposited directly into the foundation accounts of the university or research institution with whom the scientist is affiliated for direct disbursement once the fundraising goal is achieved.


This article also appeared in the November-December 2010 issue of Bio-IT World Magazine. Subscriptions are free for qualifying individuals. Apply today.

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