How Supercomputers Might Be The Key To Cure, Control Coronavirus

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As the number of coronavirus infections is skyrocketing every day, scientists across the globe are diligently looking for a cure to prevent this pandemic and supercomputers are playing a major role in it. Supercomputers are being used across the globe to analyze the large chunk of data, as it would take years if done manually.

How Supercomputers Might Be The Key To Cure, Control Coronavirus

 

Supercomputers are computers that are much powerful and can analyse a large amount of data in a limited time. India is one of the few countries, which is capable of designing its own supercomputers with a set of operational supercomputers, located at the various institutions across the country.

Supercomputers are used to solve difficult equations, which normal computers cannot process. Similarly, they are also used in situations like this, where the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading across the globe and the number of infected people is increasing exponentially. Supercomputers played a critical part during the Ebola epidemic in 2014.

Supercomputers Make Big Data Analytics Easy

Supercomputers Make Big Data Analytics Easy

Supercomputers come fitted with custom multi-threaded CPUs and GPUs with an enormous amount of memory, which can process the entire day at the same time without any hiccups.

Doctors and scientists are collecting a large chunk of data from this pandemic and it is almost impossible to analyse this data manually, as it would take more time and more resources and not to forget the chances of a human error. This data contains information like the patient's response to a drug, including parameters like body temperature, and other key pointers.

Analysing this data will give further provide insights to doctors and scientists, helping them streamline the entire process of treating an infected person. Not just that, data from various countries can also be combined together to create a common ground.

Helps With Genome Simulation
 

Helps With Genome Simulation

Genome Simulation is a highly tasking process, especially if it is an unknown genome, like the COVID-19. Supercomputer makes it easy, thanks to the hardware capability. Then comes genome sequencing, which is again something that will help to discover a vaccine to improve the immunity and readies the body to fight against the virus.

Using the same supercomputer, one can also reaffirm if the simulated vaccine would kill the virus if not, they can work on the variations of the same. As this happens at a microscopic level, a supercomputer with proper simulation software could give a clear idea of how the virus is mutating and can also be compared with the already existing database.

As of now, the US has already simulated more than 8000 compounds and 77 molecules out of those are capable of tackling COVID-19. Now, the simulations are being made again to further shortlist the molecules to shortlist the molecules with the highest percent of efficiency using the lock and key method (if a molecule can bind to the virus properly, it can de-generate the virus with ease).

Which Countries Are Using Supercomputers?

Which Countries Are Using Supercomputers?

The US is using supercomputers to fight back coronavirus and the government has joined hands with Google, Amazon, and some of the leading tech-universities like MIT. These teams are working together to find a solution. 

In one of the statements released by the White House, supercomputers are being considered as part of the process in curing COVID-19, as they "can process massive numbers of calculations related to bioinformatics, epidemiology, and molecular modeling, helping scientists develop answers to complex scientific questions about COVID-19 in hours or days versus weeks or months".

The government of India has also instructed Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to partner with the National Institute of Virology, IITs, and IISER to use the existing supercomputers in the country to solve this puzzle.

What About Quantum Computers?

What About Quantum Computers?

Quantum computers are at least 10 times more powerful than a typical supercomputer. However, they are very expensive and difficult to build. Using a quantum computer instead of a supercomputer will speed up the whole processor, but there is a lack of quantum computers, considering the pricing of these devices.

Supercomputers are also expensive. Every developed country has a few at their disposal and most of the developing countries are also equipped with supercomputers, and this is the time to test their complete capability. Supercomputers are and will help us to win more fights like this in the future as well.

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