The Power of Scale | David Konerding & Kai Kohlhoff | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

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April 14, 2014
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The Power of Scale | David Konerding & Kai Kohlhoff | Talks at Google

TL;DR

Exacycle, a computing platform at Google, enables scientists to carry out large-scale protein simulations, providing valuable insights for pharmaceutical and industrial product development.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is Exacycle and how does it help scientists in protein simulations?

Exacycle is a computing platform at Google that offers scientists access to massive data centers, enabling large-scale protein simulations that were previously not possible due to limited computing power. It allows researchers to carry out simulations that run for months or even years.

Q: How do G-protein-coupled receptors relate to pharmaceutical products?

G-protein-coupled receptors are a class of proteins that act as switches in cell membranes, reacting to various molecules. These receptors are targeted by about half of the existing medications, making them crucial for pharmaceutical development. Understanding how these receptors work can lead to the improvement of drugs and the development of new treatments.

Q: What were the key findings from the protein simulations on Exacycle?

The simulations revealed different pathways and interactions between proteins and various molecules. One key insight was that certain molecules that activate or deactivate the receptors do not necessarily bind to the protein immediately, but rather along the activation or deactivation pathway. This knowledge can guide the development of more effective drugs.

Q: Why is cloud computing valuable for scientific research?

Cloud computing, such as Exacycle, provides scientists with access to massive computing power and resources, eliminating the need for researchers to set up their own servers and handle technical aspects. It allows for efficient data analysis, collaboration, and scalability, enabling faster and more impactful scientific research.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Exacycle is a computing platform at Google that allows scientists to carry out large and complex protein simulations.

  • Using Exacycle, researchers were able to run simulations on G-protein-coupled receptors, which play a crucial role in pharmaceutical development.

  • By analyzing the data from these simulations, researchers were able to identify different pathways and interactions between proteins and various molecules.

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