Gridcoin Science: FightAIDS@Home - Finding a cure, one protein at the time

Author: sc-steemit

Tags: gridcoin worldcommunitygrid science beyondbitcoin cryptocurrency

A Gridcoin Network Approved Project

What is AIDS/HIV

AIDS stands for “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.” AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV — the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. When a human body is infected with HIV, it will work to fight the infection by making “antibodies,” special molecules that are supposed to fight HIV.

Having HIV disease — or being HIV-positive — is not the same as having AIDS. Many people live with HIV, and do not get sick for many years. However, because the human body cannot generate antibodies that can eradicate HIV, as HIV disease continues, it slowly wears down the immune system, infecting key cells of the immune system and impairing their function or even destroying them. Eventually, HIV infection results in progressive depletion of the immune system, leading to “immune deficiency.”


FightAIDS@Home is working on finding ways to target and break down the protein shell of the HIV virus (called capsid). Without the protein shell the virus is exposed and targetable. As of today there are no viable way of targeting and breaking down this protein shell, and more research is needed.

Phase 1 : Finding viable compounds

In the first phase the project screened viable compounds with promising and potential effectiveness. Finding this is very difficult in itself because the virus is a sloppy copier, meaning that when they replicate they do so without making sure that everything is exactly the same. This makes the virus slightly different and generates many variations of the virus.

Phase 1 is still running after they reopened to find more viable compounds

621 million docking simulations

This project is huge, testing a library of roughly 1.6 million commercially available compounds in the first phase. The total amount of docking simulations is a staggering 621 million. With about 46% done so far, we have a few more to test to say the least.

Their research website posts much information about the project status and the research technical details

Different level of the capsid protein structure

Image Credit: Pierrick Craveur

Phase 2 : Screening and refining

The second phase takes all the most promising compounds from the first phase and runs them trough a different simulation process to further refine the results. This phase has now started to search for novel drugs targeting the HIV-1 mature capsid protein.

Phase 2

Goals for FightAIDS@Home

There are some goals set by the project, the main goal being to make lab testing and screening reduced. With the project doing most of the work any other lab can save money and time in searching trough a library of already tested compounds. The second goal is to find new ways to do virtual screening and expand the knowledge about the process, making it easier to find techniques for finding cures for other dieses as well.

By participating in the FightAIDS@Home project you are not only searching for a cure to AIDS and HIV, you are also expanding the knowledge of techniques and databases of tests for others to use!

Possible thanks to people running their BOINC Application

The possibility to screen all the viable compunds is only possible thanks to all the people running the BOINC application. So far people have donated a total amount of CPU cycles compared to about:

350 988 years to Phase 1 38 964 years to Phase 2

Every day these two projects are getting CPU cycles compared to about:

82 years per Day to Phase 1 62 years per Day to Phase 2

Read more about FightAIDS@Home

If you are interested in learning more about this project and their work in general there are some very good articles to read about it.

FightAIDS@Home - Phase 1 FightAIDS@Home - Phase 2 FightAIDS@Home Team Re-Opens Phase 1 FightAIDS@Home Team Expands Techniques, Refines Phase 1 Results, and Collaborates on a New Study FightAIDS@Home Targeting a Key HIV Protein

FightAIDS@Home Website
What is Gridcoin?

Gridcoin is a cryptocurrency which securely rewards BOINC computation (volunteer distributed computing projects which attempt to cure diseases, map the milkyway, search for extraterrestrial life, etc) on top of proof of stake.

Anyone can create a BOINC project to create a distributed cloud service of their own desire, we can reward your users on your behalf as opposed to you paying for computation up front.

Don’t forget to visit the #Gridcoin substeemit! Plenty of text based content being created there every day!

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