Predicting how harmless bacteria develop into deadly strains

Predicting how harmless bacteria develop into deadly strains

Farzana Rahman

Farzana Rahman, a PhD student from the University of South Wales is using HPC Wales’ supercomputing technology to develop a model that predicts how harmless bacteria develops into deadly strains such as E Coli 0157, which can result in kidney failure in children.

With the recent rise in drug resistant infections, such as MRSA and tuberculosis, Farzana’s research is aiming to predict from an early stage whether there is a risk that existing bacteria, such as that present in an open wound, could develop into lethal forms of the substance.

The 27-year-old, Farzana Rahman, said:

It’s worrying how so many modern infections are adapting to the drugs available to treat them with. The research I am carrying out is hopefully going a long way to reverse this trend.

“While scientists are accessing many avenues to solve this issue, we are taking a rather different approach. I am using supercomputers to create a model that can predict whether present bacteria will develop into dangerous forms; I can then prescribe the correct treatments to avoid this happening.

“If my research is successful, it will be instrumental in supporting doctors, clinicians and relevant bodies in prescribing relevant treatments for patients.”

David Craddock, Chief Executive Officer of HPC Wales, said:

“Supercomputing has the ability to power research projects with extremely large datasets, such as Farzana’s, that simply would not be possible without the advanced technology.

“With the use of high performance computing, researchers are able to analyse large amounts of data at a speed previously unavailable. By facilitating close collaboration between universities and businesses, these projects look set to strengthen and support the growth of a number of key areas of the Welsh knowledge economy.”

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