Good news from Slovakia: First Slovak supercomputer helps fight pandemic

Slovak Academy of Sciences offered computer to help A-SPIKE project.

Supercomputer Aurel and Filip Holka, head of the departmentSupercomputer Aurel and Filip Holka, head of the department (Source: Sme/Jozef Jakubčo)

The first Slovak supercomputer, named Aurel, is helping to fight the global pandemic caused by the new coronavirus.

The Computing Centre of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) offered the Aurel to help on the A-SPIKE project being carried out by the SAV Experimental Medicine Centre.

“The pandemic spread of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus created challenges for scientific workers from various scientific fields, and the structure of spike glycoprotein is one of them,” said Magdaléna Májeková from the Institute of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology from the Centre of Experimental Medicine, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “This protein ensures that the virus penetrates the cells of a potential host.”

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Complex knowledge about the structure of this glycoprotein is crucial for the development of various methods to fight the coronavirus, the scientist said.

“Experimental data until now has not included the entire glycoprotein,” Májeková said, as quoted by TASR. “The aim of the A-SPIKE project is to gain structural data about glycoprotein that may help in developing new methods to fight SARS-CoV-2,” she added.

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