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UVA-led researchers encourage swift action to prepare for the next pandemic

An international team of researchers, led by a professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, has warned that scientists need to prepare for the next pandemic and is planning to do just that.

Focusing on the “Avalanche” of scientific data generated in response to COVID-19, UVA’s Wladek Minor, PhD and colleagues are “advanced information systems” that help scientists integrate, monitor and evaluate vast amounts. We are requesting the creation of (AIS). Of the data generated when researchers uncover the molecular structure of the next pathogen that poses a major biological threat. This information about the shape, structure, and function of pathogens is essential for the development of medicines, vaccines, and therapies. For example, currently available COVID-19 vaccines target “peplomer” proteins on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Their frequently cited online resources on COVID-19 (https: //COVID /They show the usefulness of their approach and can be used as the basis for new research strategies. The site contains carefully validated 3D structural models of numerous proteins associated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and contains many potential drug discovery targets.

Structural models and other experimental results created in various laboratories must be ensured to be accurate and in compliance with accepted scientific standards, according to standard evaluation procedures. Standardized validation is important for all areas of biomedical sciences, especially structural models. Structural models are often used as a starting point for subsequent studies such as computerized drug docking studies and data mining. Even seemingly insignificant mistakes can confuse such research. “

Wladek Minor, Harrison Distinguished Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, UVA

Fight against a pandemic

One of the key roles of AIS is to identify structures that can be improved and improved, researchers say. They gladly mentioned that the examination of the molecular blueprints created for the components of COVID-19 and stored in the Protein Data Bank online database suggested that most were very good. Less than 1% requires significant reinterpretation, and less than 10% can be optimized with modest revisions.

Still, a good building needs a good blueprint. The same applies to vaccines and the treatment of illnesses. According to researchers, pathogen structural and other data are as accurate as possible, and it is important that scientists from different disciplines speak the same language when discussing and using them. The proposed AIS will help ensure interdisciplinary compatibility.

“Approximately 100,000 COVID-19-related papers have been published, and more than 1000 models of macromolecules encoded by SARS-CoV-2 have been experimentally determined in about a year.” And the most promising solution to the lack of effective information retrieval is the creation of advanced information systems that can collect results from all relevant resources and present information in a useful way to promote understanding and knowledge. believe.”

Researchers acknowledge that implementing their proposals will be a major task. Other resources that have tried to offer similar benefits on a small scale are already coming and going. That’s why scientists say it’s so important for us to act now. “Creating an AIS definitely requires the help of many scientists in their respective fields, but it seems to be the only way to prepare biomedical sciences for the next pandemic,” he said. They are writing in a new scientific paper outlining the proposal.

“In human history, the COVID-19 pandemic is relatively mild compared to the bubonic plague that killed more than 100 times more people,” the researchers conclude. “You may not be so lucky next time.”

New approach outlined

Researchers at UVA, the National Cancer Institute, Poland and Austria have detailed their plans in articles in scientific journals. IUCrJ.. The article appears on the cover of the journal. The research team consists of Marek Grabowski, Joanna M. Macnar, Marcin Cymborowski, David R. Cooper, Ivan G. Shabalin, Miroslaw Gilski, Dariusz Brzezinski, Marcin Kowiel, Zbigniew Dauter, Bernhard Rupp, Alexander Wlodawer, Mariusz Jaskolski and Minor. I am.

In their treatise, the researchers thanked the National Institutes of Health for the financial support of the National Institute of Medical Sciences grant R01-GM132595. Polish National Academic Exchange Agency, Grant PN / BEK / 2018/1/00058 / U / 00001; Polish National Science Center, Grant 2020/01/0 / NZ1 / 00134; NIH, National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research Center In-wall research program. FWF (Austrian Science Foundation), Grant P 32821; Polish National Science Center, Grant 2018/29 / B / ST6 / 01989.

Minor and his longtime collaborator, Dr. Zbyszek Otwinowski of the Southwestern Medical Center of the University of Texas, recently received the Tadeushzenjimir Applied Science Award from the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences. The field of structural biology.


Journal reference:

Gravowski, M. , et al. (2021) Rapid response to new biomedical challenges and threats. IUCrJ.

UVA-led researchers encourage swift action to prepare for the next pandemic

Source link UVA-led researchers encourage swift action to prepare for the next pandemic

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