Technology and CF research

CF pops up in the most unlikely of places from time to time… This morning, I was reading an article pertaining to high volume compute clusters and I stumbled across a reference to Microsoft Research and their ties to medical research, specifically Cystic Fibrosis.

Microsoft funds a research centre that employs a ton of leading academics in the pursuit of computer science applications that may eventually make their way into Microsoft products.

In this case, the research project is called “Unraveling Protein Folding: High-performance computing Helps Shed light on diseases“. This particular research project is using large volume computer resources to simulate protein folding, which is at the biological root of Cystic Fibrosis, as well as many other diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many forms of cancer.

The hope is that this research will uncover the causes of proteins that fold inappropriately, thus leading to some of the conditions mentioned above. From there, treatments may be identified to help correct these flawed protein behaviours.

At a Glance
Project: Molecular Dynameomics
Location: University of Washington, Seattle
Project Principal:
Valerie Daggett, professor of bioengineering, University of Washington
Web Sites:
www.dynameomics.org
depts.washington.edu/daglab
Microsoft Technologies:
Windows Compute Cluster 2003, Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008,
Visual Studio® 2008, Internet Information Services 7

I get really excited when I see my professional world (I’m an IT geek) and my personal world collide. Hopefully this will help lead to some tangible benefits for those that suffer from these horrible diseases.

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