North End tech firm helps with worldwide Covid-19 research
North End-based specialist in supply chain automation, Transalis, is lending spare ‘number crunching’ capacity from available cycles on its main servers.
Team members are doing so as they believe better science enables better diagnostics, better understanding of disease spread and progression, and a faster path to a vaccine.
To support scientific efforts against Covid-19 and other virus threats, Transalis is donating the spare computing resources in its UK data centres to the Rosetta@home project, which is run by the University of Washington and leverages donated computing resources to run computer simulations to predict the atomic-scale structure of important coronavirus proteins.
Now, some of Transalis’ extensive computing infrastructure which supports retailers and suppliers world-wide will also be used to help scientists search for a cure.
The hope is that this knowledge will then inform the development of potential therapeutic and diagnostic medicines.
Infrastructure manager, John Chrysanthou said: ‘Rosetta@home is a great opportunity to crowdsource and leverage unused processing capacity in the fight against Covid-19.
‘Our servers already run 24/7, enabling businesses and organisations worldwide to automate their financial and administrative transactions and reduce the need for costly management of paper documentation and associated errors.
‘We have the agility to power up and share any unused capacity to contribute to the Rosetta research while protecting all the essential processor speed that supports our clients.
‘We are delighted to be doing our bit to help expedite the data processing. Ultimately, it’s all about finding the answers to Covid-19 more quickly.’
The focus of Rosetta@home is to model the structure of a spike protein, which is what happens in the lungs when a protein on the surface of the virus binds to a receptor protein on a lung cell to generate the first phase of infection in the body.
As well as Washington, the company operates a graduate recruitment programme in partnership with the University of Portsmouth.
Last year, the firm championed and promoted a major University of Portsmouth research report on the management of product returns which currently cost the retail sector £60bn a year.