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UAH, Hewlett Packard team up to use 'super computer' to battle coronavirus

Baudry is now looking for natural products, or chemicals from things like plants, fungi, or animals, that can attack coronavirus.

Posted: May 5, 2020 9:20 PM
Updated: May 5, 2020 10:51 PM

WAAY31 learned how cutting edge technology may put Alabama at the forefront of the race to find a remedy for coronavirus. 

The University of Alabama in Huntsville and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are partners in the hunt for chemicals to stop the virus that has impacted all our lives for the last several weeks.

UAH biological science Professor Dr. Jerome Baudry says he has a unique opportunity to help find ways to attack the coronavirus. Baudry says a supercomputer will help fast track the process.

"What we're trying to do here is trying to predict what chemicals could bind, could actually prevent the virus from doing what it's supposed to do," Baudry said.

Baudry says the coronavirus invades human cells after targeting certain proteins. He is now looking for natural products, or chemicals from things like plants, fungi, or animals, that can stop it.

"It could be a cure, it could be a treatment, it could be a remedy, it could be a single molecule, it could a mixture of molecules," Baudry said.

The research process is getting a huge boost thanks to a partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. They will use a supercomputer, that can calculate data as fast as the earth's entire population doing 20,000 calculations every second. Baudry says it makes finding the needle in the haystack easier.

"Reduce the size of the haystack so much, that we can tell our colleagues well instead of going blindly and screening one million chemicals, you should focus on these 500, and we're fairly sure most of the needles will be in that little part of the haystack," Baudry said.

The computer will be able to predict if a chemical can block proteins the coronavirus needs to infect and replicate cells. It'll help speed up the research process, but there is no timetable of how long this could take.

"It doesn't mean that next week we can expect a pill, but certainly, it will arrive much faster than it would otherwise if only some of us were working on this," Baudry said.

WAAY31 is told the chemicals will not be a vaccine, but more of a treatment method. UAH has already started its research.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16310

Reported Deaths: 590
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2085112
Jefferson167397
Montgomery144634
Marshall6609
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Lee52632
Franklin4986
Shelby47019
Tallapoosa41063
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Morgan2111
Sumter2106
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Houston1854
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Pike1730
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Marengo1506
Choctaw1487
Russell1480
Lauderdale1452
Hale1416
Wilcox1327
Barbour1301
Clarke1282
Randolph1247
Marion11711
St. Clair1081
Pickens964
Dale960
Talladega963
Chilton931
Greene914
Cullman880
Limestone860
Winston770
Covington751
Jackson742
Bibb711
Henry702
Macon672
Crenshaw662
Washington656
Blount531
Escambia483
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Perry360
Conecuh351
Coosa341
Monroe342
Cherokee332
Clay272
Lamar210
Cleburne131
Fayette130
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 21285

Reported Deaths: 353
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson482660
Shelby4615105
Trousdale13924
Rutherford109022
Sumner84345
Hamilton67015
Bledsoe6081
Williamson53210
Tipton4283
Putnam4285
Robertson4262
Lake4130
Wilson3828
Knox3565
Out of TN3394
Bedford2704
Montgomery2583
Rhea1970
Hardeman1920
Madison1742
Loudon1370
McMinn13614
Macon1193
Cheatham1140
Cumberland1111
Fayette1102
Dickson1070
Bradley1051
Blount893
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Washington750
Unassigned750
Sevier752
Coffee660
Wayne630
Gibson601
Sullivan602
Monroe592
Lauderdale561
Hickman540
Dyer490
Franklin491
Greene482
Anderson401
Marion371
DeKalb370
Grundy321
Hawkins312
Smith301
Hamblen302
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Henry300
Marshall291
Jefferson280
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Morgan170
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Jackson170
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Henderson140
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Chester130
Perry130
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Fentress120
Hardin112
Scott110
Stewart100
Claiborne80
Houston80
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Pickett30
Hancock10

 

 

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