Shortcuts For Building Better Molecules

Sandia National Laboratories is doing computer searches for new pharmaceuticals using software that was originally developed to help arrays of telescopic video cameras detect incoming ballistic missiles. New York-based Sterling Winthrop Inc., the drug subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Co., is Sandia's partner. By sifting out promising compounds electronically, Sterling hopes to quickly home in on classes of molecules that merit lab experiments. That could slash the typical $50 million cost of synthesizing and testing compounds for a new drug, says John Wendoloski, director for biophysics and computational chemistry at Sterling.

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