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ITaP community cluster used to model enterovirus antibodies

  • Science Highlights

A Purdue research team has used ITaP’s community clusters to model antibodies that neutralize enterovirus D68, a respiratory virus that sometimes causes a polio-like illness in children.

Collaborators at Vanderbilt University had identified antibodies that appeared to neutralize the virus in laboratory tests. The Purdue team then modeled the antibodies and virus and concluded that the two identified antibodies bound very well to the virus.

Thomas Klose, technical director of Purdue’s Cryo-EM facility, and his Purdue collaborators used a technique called cryo-electron microscopy to create many different images of the virus and antibody structure, and transferred the information to ITaP Research Computing’s recently retired Snyder community cluster to run a reconstruction program that combined the two-dimensional images into a three-dimensional structure model. This work was both computationally-intense as well as memory-intense, and could not have been accomplished without the power of a supercomputer.

For the tens of terabytes of data generated by their work, Klose’s team relies on ITaP Research Computing Fortress archive. Fortress preserves their data long-term, while allowing the team access to it if they ever need to review something.

“Our needs are unique in terms of how much memory we need to use and how much data we need to move around,” says Klose. “It’s great that we have these resources.”

To learn more about Purdue’s Community Cluster Program, contact Preston Smith, executive director of ITaP Research Computing, or 49-49729.

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