Brussels, 01 Aug 2005
The EU-funded 'enabling grids for e-science' (EGEE) project has added applications on drug discovery and earthquake analysis to those running on its infrastructure.
EGEE brings together experts from over countries with the common aim of developing a service Grid infrastructure that is available to scientists 24 hours a day.
The drug discovery application aims to find potential new drugs to combat malaria. Scientists will carry out 'in silico docking', which enables researchers to compute the probability that potential drugs will dock with a target protein - in this case with the active site of one of the malaria parasite proteins.
A study such as this, using 100,000 potential drugs, would normally require six months to complete. Using the EGEE Grid, the initial phase took just two days. The next step will be to increase the performance of the application and to compute millions of potential drugs. This will take only a few weeks. Working at this rate, researchers hope to take a significant step towards finding a new drug to treat malaria.
The Earthquake analysis application takes a slightly longer term view. Using the EGEE's Grid infrastructure, researchers from France were able to complete an analysis of the earthquake that occurred in Indonesia on 28 March 2005 just 30 hours after it occurred. Understanding the exact parameters of when, where and how an earthquake occurs brings researchers closer to comprehending why they happen. This, in turn, may allow researchers to give advance warning of future earthquakes, and to predict the likely impact of an earthquake.
With funding of over 30 million euro from the European Commission, the EGEE project is one of the largest of its kind.
For further information on EGEE, please visit: