Professor creates virtual in vivo cancer environment

A professor at the University of Texas in Austin has created a virtual supercomputer to study metastasis. Muhammad Zaman, who directs the Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Dynamics, is tapping the idle time of more than 1,000 computers through the Internet to study cell migration in a virtual reality. And he's using the low-cost computer grid to advance research into a new generation of cancer drugs.

"We have launched a global effort to recreate the in vivo (live) environment of cancer cells in a computer model. This allows us to perform virtual experiments and study processes that are too costly or technically very difficult to study," says Zaman. "By recreating this whole 'system of processes inside a cancer cell we will be in a position to fully comprehend the problem and hopefully identify targets that will one day translate into anti-cancer drugs."

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