The WeNMR project has gone 'Asia' with its presence at the 10th International Symposium on Grids and Clouds 2012 at Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. The ISGC brings together innovative researchers from the Asia Pacific region and beyond who are both developers and users of grid and cloud computing. The 10th anniversary of the ISGC marks this event as a special one that was reflected with a stunning visual opening ceremony on Tuesday february 28. The ceremony was hosted by Dr Simon Lin one of the driving forces behind grid computing in Taiwan. His presentation nicely shows the power of the Taiwan grid initiative in collaboration with other grid initiatives world wide for research in such relevant topics as earthquake and tsunami research, drug discovery and the avian flu virus.
The WeNMR project was mentioned for its relevance to the last two and Life Sciences in general. This was further emphasized by the keynote lecture of Prof. Alexandre Bonvin wednesday 29 february were he talked about the goals of the WeNMR project, the services its has to offer and the importance of the end user for a successful project.
As a result we had fruitful discussions with local representatives of Academia Sinica and the Taiwanese grid on further collaboration starting with ongoing support for the GROMACS MD web portal. We are going to work together to support a dedicated grid site for long MD simulations.
As WeNMR project we even have our own booth at the symposium venue with posters to show our activities, the WeNMR brochure giving anoverview of the projects goals and a nice movie illustrating the importance of computational structural biology for NMR and Life Sciences in general.
To strengthen our connection with the Asian user base WeNMR hosted a ISGC co-located workshop on monday 27 february. With a group of 24 students we discussed the benefits of joining the WeNMR Virtual Research Community for there research. We gave them a hands-on experience working with the services the project has to offer by having them perform a protein-DNA docking tutorial. In this tutorial we have used the HADDOCK web portal to perform a docking between the two proteins and a DNA structure that together form the bacteriophage 434 Cro/OR1 complex. This complex plays an important role as a switch in the lifecycle of the phage. Using the HADDOCK portal for docking and the 3D-DART server for modeling of the DNA structures the students successfully managed to create models for this complex that illustrated the way the proteins interact with the DNA and how the DNA changes conformation to establish the functional complex.