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Medical - Improving drug design

 

Scientists are using supercomputers to reveal the structure of proteins whose aggregation is involved in the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. Pavan GhattyVenkataKrishna, a former Oak Ridge National Laboratory postdoctoral student, led a study that explains how amyloid beta, a small protein, aggregates and folds, and also explains exactly which amino acid residues can interact with drugs. Before ORNL's study, researchers had proposed several possible structures for the amyloid beta protein, but knowing the physiologically relevant structure, as described in this study, could help scientists develop drugs that can treat patients suffering from neurological diseases. [Written by Jennifer Brouner]

 -  Ron Walli,  865.576.0226,  September 03, 2013
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