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Computer Simulation of Tuberculosis Bacteria Could Lead to Discovery of New Ways to Fight Disease

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Desmond Lun

Rutgers University associate professor Desmond Lun

Credit: Rutgers University

Rutgers University researchers recently received a Lockheed Martin grant to continue their work using the Genetic Regulatory Analysis of Networks Investigational Tool Environment (GRANITE), a software platform designed to simulate the behavior of living cells.

The Rutgers team, led by professor Desmond Lun, uses GRANITE to make predictions about the behavior of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. The researchers are using GRANTITE to simulate the disruption of the bacteria's metabolism. "We're looking for things that may kill the organism," Lun says.

He says that computer simulations can provide answers and new insight into the process much faster than the time it would take to grow the bacteria culture and test different ways to kill it. "By using a computer simulation, you can pick out, say, the 10 most promising ways out of 100 to alter the organism," which saves a lot of time and money, Lun says. “This is only the first step. Who knows where it will go? It’s a very exciting project to be a part of.”

From Gloucester County Times (NJ) 
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