Researchers are making leaps in understanding how viruses invade healthy cells by using a combination of ORNL’s Titan supercomputer and Spallation Neutron Source. An ORNL research team is simulating the lipid bilayer, or cell membrane, and verifying these simulations with experiments at SNS. In essence, this research is trying to prove the existence of lipid rafts—patches of the bilayer that may actively regulate which particles can enter a cell. The agreement between simulation and experiments sets the stage for researchers to simulate much larger systems and observe this phenomenon for longer periods of time.

The paper, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, is available at: