Cornell University researchers are looking for an algorithm capable of quickly calculating the shape of protein molecules, an extremely important goal in emerging biotechnologies, by analyzing data produced when X-rays are beamed through a crystallized protein sample. Calculating protein shapes based on X-ray diffraction data is similar to looking for the key to an encrypted message. Only one will work but it can take unimaginable computer resources to test all possible keys in the search for the one that works. A new approach, however, determines if the calculations are on the right track and then fine-tunes the search. Scientists hope to get the process down to a few minutes.
The source article is at eet.com.