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Mass number-crunching may help crack Alzheimer's disease code
Date:5/9/2014

imply download the software at http://www.computeagainstalzheimers.org, which was developed for Parabon's Frontier Compute Platform," says Steven Armentrout, Parabon founder and chief executive. "The software is completely benign and does not interfere with ordinary computer use. The software unobtrusively harnesses idle computing capacity from computers when they are not otherwise being used. Like a screensaver, it works only when you are not."

Klimov, his graduate student Chris Lockhart, and Parabon software developers collaborated on the NIH grant to not only build computer models of molecules that could be responsible for Alzheimer's disease, but to make it possible for many computers to work together on a complex problem.

This distributed software approach "allows thousands of computers to cooperatively work on a single computational problem," Armentrout says. "Because the computer simulations involved take months or even years to complete using traditional computing methods, it is desirable to distribute the workload across many computers to accelerate the research, which is how Frontier adds value to the effort."

Computers are changing the classical laboratory and microscope approach. "That approach has limitations because it is difficult to study individual molecules," Klimov says. Computer software creates molecular models to re-create what is happening to the cell on a level of single molecules.

The end result will be a data boost "by orders of magnitude" to help researchers discover the clues that could lead to understanding of what causes Alzheimer's, he says.


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Contact: Michele McDonald
mmcdon15@gmu.edu
703-993-8781
George Mason University
Source:Eurekalert

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