Friday, May 15, 2020

F@H Project 13850

 Continuing education with Citizen Science and Folding@home

​​​​​​​​Anyone can join citizen science community and participate in a scientific research. 

I am currently running COVID-19 related project 13850 on my laptop. The F@H software runs in the background. It does not slow down my work despite requiring some computer resources (CPU).

Here is a description of the project:

"These are simulations of NSP9 from SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, which may participate in viral replication by acting as a ssRNA-binding protein. Its funciton is poorly understood in both viruses."

I do not have any idea on what ssRNA and NSP9 are. Let us check it together. 

1. ssRNA

Nucleic acids - DNA and RNA are bimacromolecules that contain information code which is translated from DNA and/or RNA into proteins that form and regulate our body.

DNA stores information in the form of double helix presumably in all life cells. Viruses however can store genetic data either in DNA or in RNA. And in addition to that, viruses can store genetic information in the form of either in double helix, or in a single strand.

Viruses having double helix of DNA are double-stranded DNA or dsDNA. Viruses with single helix are single-stranded: ssDNA or ssRNA.

So the first finding is  that ssRNA simply means single stranded RNA. 

2nd question: what is NSP9?

NSP stands for a nonstructutal protein. 

The nonstructutal proteins are coded in RNA of a virus but protein itself is not part of a virus particle. If I remember correctly, RNA virus requires host cell to use cell resources for the replication. So I assume that nonstructutal proteins are produced by host cell based on information in virus genome. Number 9 seems to be a number. There are NSP1, 2 and so on. Please see references below.

As written in folding@home project 13850 description, NSP9 function is poorly understood. 

I can again only assume that any knowledge on NSP9 function can help to develop new medicaments to stop virus replication in human bodies. This is purely my speculation not based on any further reading. 

As soon as my laptop completes 13850 task and starts to compute next project, I will try to discover something new.

If you find it cool, please join me with folding@home and feel free to have any questions or corrections below. 

Additional reading and references:

Video is taken by me and compressed with video compressor

#CitizenScience #Folding@home #F@H

Uptrennd | Continuing education with Citizen Science and Folding@home

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