Next big drug discovery made possible by video games

It is likely that the next big breakthrough in drug discovery will arise from simulations performed by chemists on powerful new graphics cards (GPUs), and for that you can thank your kids--or adults--who demand more and more realistic action from their video games. Chemical & Engineering News has an in-depth report on "The GPU Revolution" in chemistry and drug discovery, which discusses the "torrent of data" that has become available just in the last three years resulting in "a revolution in how molecular simulations are carried out."

The publication traces the revolution's acceleration to 2007, when graphics hardware firm Nvidia introduced Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA), a GPU chip structure and programming tool kit that enabled scientists to access GPUs in a more user-friendly way.

"Chemists are now using graphics cards to carry out classical molecular dynamics simulations on desktops, and clusters are beginning to output results on large biomolecular systems that couldn't be easily explored previously," reports Chemical & Engineering News.

- read the report
- and see a video in this report from MedGadget