Supercomputers Assist In Modeling the Synthesis of Cellulose

With the assistance of IBM supercomputers which is named as AVOCA, scientists can move a new step on the way to observe the basic structural substance-cellulose in plant cell walls, which plays an important role in the formation of a cell wall-a natural barrier against virus and bacteria going into cells. To know more about cellulose in plant cell walls can contribute to many other aspects as paper making and fiber industry.

Cellulose is one of the most prosperous substance produced by plants. Nearly 200 billion tonnes cellulose will be made every year. Being one of the most basic matters forming a cell, cellulose is essential for the existence of plant. It provides the rigidity and defense ability to plant cells. Knowing more about the cellulose in its structure and function can be very beneficial to find better treatments for the common plant epidemics, like the ones happen to corps.

Cellulose is made by a plant with the links of simple glucose units which make chains , then fibers formed when the chains bundle together. The work of studying the structure of cellulose encountered much challenges for the complexity of the cells’ structure and the previous limited technology which in the often case is likely to cause damage to the cells. As a quite common consumption substance, it may require custom synthesis in variety to achieve different purpose in the future. Thus it’s meaningful to study the formation of cellulose.

The presentation of IBM supercomputer bring scientists hope to accomplish the challengeable task. The supercomputer can model the plant cell wall at the molecular level. And with the computational modeling technology, the involved quadrillions of calculation can be easily done. The cell wall model provided by the IBM supercomputer was analyzed, and it was found that there are only 18 to 24 chains among a cell wall, which is actually much less than the number 36 that scientists had presumed. The advanced computational modeling technology help scientists have easier accesses to better and more detailed knowledge for the synthesis of cellulose. The research finding will pave a way for many related industry and make contribution.

In addition, experts in the computational field is trying to develop a more advanced technology -3D modeling system to present a 3 dimensional model of plant cell walls. Then researches will be with easier accesses and more new findings will be the fruit of the high tech.

Now Scientists have a better understanding in the formation of cellulose and related researches will be carried on to pave a better way for the plant disease precaution, and the performance of fiber involved material which require rigidity and flexibility.