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Biotech Medicine Supercomputing Science

16-Year-Old Discovers Potential Treatment For Cystic Fibrosis 236

Bob the Super Hamste writes "According to a story at LiveScience, a 16-year-old Canadian 11th grade student has discovered a possible treatment for cystic fibrosis. The treatment is a combination of two drugs which, in a computer simulation on the Canadian SCINET supercomputing network, did not interfere with each other while interacting with the defective protein responsible for the disorder. He has also tested the drug combination on living cells with results that 'exceeded his expectations.'"
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16-Year-Old Discovers Potential Treatment For Cystic Fibrosis

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  • by lbgator ( 1208974 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [uolo.semaj]> on Friday May 13, 2011 @02:40PM (#36120862)

    In that vein, FoldIt [] is a game where the goal is to make proteins that match target sites. Promising results get tested in labs. Same gist as what you suggest, but you get humans to play tetris instead of a computer trying random proteins.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, 2011 @03:01PM (#36121102)

    I'm a pharmacist an I've seen no raise in patients taking crestor. Beyond that, when Lipitor goes generic, script insurance will no longer want to pay for crestor, or if they they do, the co-pay will be high as hell.

    In that case we make calls and have it changed to a generic. I rarely have a doc say no.

  • by Wdi ( 142463 ) on Friday May 13, 2011 @03:11PM (#36121212)

    The Vertex people did, and they rightfully received much praise for their results (these CF compounds are without precedent, providing a treatment option for a deadly disease).

    But this has all been published, extensively, even in non-specialist journals (CE&N). *EVERY* professional chemist with a minimum interest in pharma research knows about the Vertex compounds, the different interaction points with the proteins, and the possibility of drug combinations.

    Reproducing these results is a nice coursework problem, but not research. The novel results produced by what the guy did are ZERO. I am certain this project was a nice experience for him, and it may hopefully motivate him to study chemistry after finishing school. I wish him the very best for his further career.

    But HE DEFINITELY DID NOT INVENT A CURE. Stating anything like that is ridiculous hype!

  • "16 year olds don't have access to super computers nor a clue about how to find one."
    well that's false. Hint, look up SCINET
    "Nor do they know what drugs do which things, "

    I get it. some kid may have done something you could have never done because you spent your teen years stoned. Therefore it's fake.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"