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Blood-Sucking "Assassin" Bugs and Chagas' Disease

Chagas' is a deadly tropical parasitic disease that harms humans and mammals, transmitted mostly through blood-sucking bugs. The disease comes from the parasite known as Trypanosoma cruzi, which researchers believe is only found in the Americas. Associated with the insect-borne parasite is Nitrophorin 2, a protein currently under investigation in an NIH- and NSF-supported grant to study the dynamics of how such proteins function so cures may be found to prevent more than 50,000 deaths every year. This calculation was made possible using TeraGrid's supercomputers and Pupil, a newly developed interface between quantum mechanics codes and the Amber molecular dynamics program

Image courtesy of: A. Roitberg, G. Seabra, University of Florida; J. Torras, Universitat Polit├Ęcnica de Catalunya; M. Marti, D. Estrin, University of Buenos Aires; R.C. Walker, SDSC.

Source: San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego

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