Has the Summit Supercomputer cracked COVID’s code?

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A supercomputer-powered genetic study of COVID-19 patients has spawned a possible breakthrough into how the novel coronavirus causes disease—and points toward new potential therapies to treat its worst symptoms.

The genetic data mining research uncovered a common pattern of gene activity in the lungs of symptomatic COVID-19 patients, which when compared to gene activity in healthy control populations revealed a mechanism that appears to be a key weapon in the coronavirus’s arsenal.

The good news is there are already drugs—a few of which are already FDA-approved—aimed at some of these very same pathologies.

“We think we have a core mechanism that explains a lot of the symptoms where the virus ends up residing,” said Daniel Jacobson, chief scientist for computational systems biology at Oak Ridge National Labs in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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