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Press Release 13-095

Cracking the Code of HIV; Providing An Up-Close View of the Enemy

Supercomputer empowers researchers to answer the 64-million-atom question by running detailed simulations of HIV

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Atomic-level detailed simulations of the HIV capsid.

Three different renderings of the HIV capsid, with multiple colors. Pentamers and hexamers use different color representations.

Credit: Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group (www.ks.uiuc.edu), Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, UIUC


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Photo of cables part of UIUC's Blue Waters, one of the world's most powerful supercomputers

Blue Waters at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, enables detailed simulations using millions of atoms.

Credit: UIUC


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NSF's Lisa-Joy Zgorski and Irene Qualters on May 28, 2013 had a discussion with physics professor Klaus Schulten and his postdoctoral researcher Juan Perilla of the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, on their discovery of the chemical composition of the HIV capsid and its implications for the treatment of AIDS. Their research is detailed in the cover story of the May 30 issue of the journal Nature.

Credit: NSF. Video within webcast courtesy of University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

 

The HIV virus is housed inside a protective shell called a capsid. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to creating truly effective therapies to combat the virus is that no one knows the exact structure of the HIV capsid...until now.

Researchers Klaus Schulten and Juan Perilla at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have successfully used the power of the National Science Foundation-funded Blue Waters, one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, to create a detailed molecular map of the HIV-1 capsid.

Credit: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

NCSA's Thom Dunning describes some projects on Blue Waters and how it meets researchers' needs.

Credit: NSF

 

NCSA Director Thom Dunning describes an early discovery in AIDS research that Blue Waters enabled.

Credit: NSF

 

The future of S&E research is brighter with Blue Waters as a resource for researchers, says Dunning.

Credit: NSF