The supercomputer that folded a protein

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The atoms of proteins move around in incredibly complicated ways, but modeling how all those moving parts fit together is vital to understanding biology. Now, thanks to a supercomputer, you can see every step of the process right here.

The image below (you can click it for a larger view) reveals just a portion of a protein folding and unfolding over a period of about 200 microseconds. It took the supercomputer known as Anton, which you can see up top, about three weeks to fully simulate every aspect of the atoms' movements, not to mention that of the surrounding water. Such a small period of time may not sound like much, but the protein went through 15 rounds of folding and unfolding in just those couple hundred microseconds. Protein folding is vital to the creation of complex life, as it allows different characteristics and traits to be expressed based on the nature of the fold.


[Read the scientific full account of this protein folding cyberninja machine via Science]