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Emerging Diseases

Emerging infections such as SARS and avian flu have a high detrimental impact in many of the countries and economies served by TEIN3.

When an outbreak of a potentially contagious, debilitating infection occurs, quarantine restrictions severely inhibit the movement of people. Consequently, expertise from outside the affected areas can only be made available remotely.

TEIN3 can play a significant role by facilitating the transfer of the data collected within the affected area to expert sources elsewhere in the region, and allow experts to examine, consult and advise remotely.

Saving lives through ground-breaking drug discovery

A protein and its ligand before and after docking
A protein and its ligand before and after docking – innovative drug discovery thanks to high-speed networking and grid computing
The power of GÉANT and TEIN3 supports the search for live-saving treatment against killer diseases such as malaria and avian flu. The drug discovery process is being greatly accelerated by distributed computing and the underlying network infrastructure. With the help of high-speed computing and the huge data managing capabilities of the Grid, researchers participating in the WISDOM project have been able to very rapidly screen and study drug components against these killer diseases. The project is predominately a collaboration of Asian and European laboratories and is primarily supported by the EGEE grid infrastructure. The massive biomedical data challenges involve, on average, the parallel use of 5000 geographically distributed computers – the equivalent of 420 years of computing power of a single PC.

WISDOM uses in silico docking, where computers calculate the probability that molecules will 'dock' with proteins in the infective agent - virus, in the case of bird flu, or parasite for malaria. This lets researchers rule out the vast majority of potential drugs, allowing them to concentrate their laboratory testing on only the most promising compounds. As well as speeding up the screening process, this reduces the cost of developing new drugs to treat diseases.