Paper highlight: Paper #52

I’ll start highlighting some of our key results from FAH in this blog.  I’ll start with our most recent paper (paper #52  Control of Membrane Fusion Mechanism by  Lipid Composition: Predictions from Ensemble Molecular Dynamics by Peter Kasson and Vijay Pande).  I’ve talked about Peter’s work before in a previous post.  Peter’s work centers around viral infection.  Envelope viruses (such as AIDS, ebola, or influenza) enter cells via a process called "fusion" — the lipid coating of the virus merges with cell membrane of the host, allowing the virus to enter the cell.

In this paper, Peter has followed up some of his original fusion simulations to study the role of the membrane composition.  Biological membranes are complex, but membranes simulated are typically very simplified.  With the power of FAH, Peter can study fusion without making extreme approximations made by other groups (eg other groups push the vesicles together until they fuse, which is clearly not how this happens physiologically) and also allows his to study model membranes much closer in complexity to real biological membranes.

Check out our papers page for more details