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The most complex experiment for COVID-19 was performed with supercomputers

A European Research Consortium said it carried out the most sophisticated experiment with supercomputers on the new coronavirus with a 60-hour simulation aimed at modeling the effect of potential new drugs for COVID-19, Reuters reported.
The experiment, supported by the European Commission's Excalate4Cov platform, was carried out with supercomputers of Italian consortium Cineca (Cineca) and energy giant ENI (ENI). It tested 70 billion molecules with an estimated 1 trillion interactions, BTA transmits.

"We achieved the new target of 5 million simulated molecules per second. By comparison, this is more than 300 times more and 500 times faster than a similar experiment performed in the U.S. in June,” said Andrea Beckari, the project's chief scientist.

As drug manufacturers race to develop vaccines for COVID-19, researchers have targeted cutting-edge supercomputers to process vast amounts of data on the virus unknown until a few months ago but has already claimed the lives of more than 1.3 million people.

The Excalate4Cov platform coordinates supercomputer centers in Italy, Germany and Spain with pharmaceutical companies and research centers, including the University of Leuven, the Fraunhofer Institute, the Milan Polytechnic University and the Spalanzani Hospital.

The experiment was carried out over the weekend on computers running at 81 pentaflops. During the first phase of the project, a generic osteoporosis drug was identified, which researchers hope will also help reduce COVID-19 symptoms. Last month, it was granted permission for human clinical trials by an Italian medicines regulator.


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