Columbian Scientists Tap Global Computer Network In Search Of Leishmaniasis Drugs

“Colombian scientists are using a global network of personal and institutional computers to search for potential drugs against leishmaniasis, a disease that affects 12 million people worldwide,” SciDev.Net reports. The researchers at the University of Antioquia “will harness the calculation potential of the almost two million computers that make up the World Community Grid, funded by the IBM Corporation,” the news service writes.

“Carlos Muskus, the project leader, … told SciDev.Net that, thanks to the grid, 100 years-worth of work can now be carried out in less than three years,” SciDev.Net notes, adding, “The project will use an existing open-access database of 13 million drugs to find those that can destroy or inactivate some of the leishmaniasis parasite’s 53 proteins.” According to the news service, “Muskus said that promising drug candidates would undergo a series of tests before clinical trials and eventual release as a treatment” (Correa, 9/30).