Nothing to Sneeze at: IBM supercomputer takes on the common cold

australia common cold2

An illness like the common cold has widespread health and social impacts. Indeed, the Human Rhinovirus (HRV), the most frequent cause of colds, is believed to exacerbate asthma in about 70 percent of cases; and in Australia alone, the common cold costs employers around 1.5 million workdays, or $600m in lost productivity per year.

In conjunction with researchers at the IBM Research Collaboratory for Life Sciences–Melbourne, scientists from St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research and the University of Melbourne are now using IBM supercomputing technology to simulate the common cold at the molecular level to build a fully atomistic, three-dimensional simulation of HRV.  This will allow researchers to gain a more precise picture of how a drug attacks rhinovirus at the molecular level, and potentially lead to future treatments for other viruses as well.

Read more about it in this Smarter Planet blog post by Dr. John Wagner, Manager, IBM Research Collaboratory for Life Sciences-Melbourne, Australia

Also check out this infographic on the common cold

–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

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