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Night of the Living Bacteria: How GPUs Aid Fight Against Zombie-Like Bugs

Posted April 19, 2018

When health officials use words like “nightmare” and “apocalypse” to describe a problem, it’s probably time to pay attention.

We’re in a war with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and we’re losing. Antibiotics that saved millions of lives in the last century are increasingly powerless against a growing number of superbugs that have evolved to survive our pharmacological onslaught.

Methicillin-resistant staff bacteria (in magenta). Image courtesy of the National Institutes of Health.

There’s a dearth of new antibiotics to treat what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control calls “nightmare bacteria.” This has led some — including the U.K.’s chief medical advisor — to warn of a post-antibiotic “apocalypse” in which ordinary infections, surgery, tuberculosis and even a papercut could be a death sentence.

A new paper in Science magazine offers some hope. Using GPU-accelerated supercomputer simulations and lab experiments, researchers discovered why staph bacteria — the leading cause of healthcare-related infections — can be so tough to beat. Their work could point the way to new treatments for now-invincible bacterial foes.

Read the full article written by Jamie Beckett on NVIDIA blog.

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