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Co Down firm assisting in coronavirus research for treatment


Better picture: Patrick Knight

Better picture: Patrick Knight

Better picture: Patrick Knight

A Saintfield-based industrial thermoforming company is lending its computer power to Stanford University in the US in the hope of finding a way to combat coronavirus.

Scientists from the university are running their software on Donite Plastic's computers to simulate how Covid-19 proteins react.

By running their software on Donite's computers to gain a greater understanding of Covid-19's protein structure and how it reacts, Stanford University's scientists may be able to help predict new ways of treating the virus and its symptoms.

Patrick Knight, quality manager and lead manufacturing engineer at Donite Plastic, said that the company's team of engineers are pleased to be playing a role in the fight to save lives around the world.

"Covid-19 has been the word on everyone's lips over recent weeks and the seriousness of the virus is apparent not just in terms of how it is affecting businesses and livelihoods but also the number of lives that have sadly been lost across the world since the outbreak began," said Patrick.

"Once our engineers have completed their work during the day, we allow the scientists at Stanford University to use the graphics cards and processors on our high-spec CAD and CAM computers, which are usually a tool for our engineers to bring products to life before they are manufactured.

"Now these programmes are being used to give scientists a better picture of the protein structure of Covid-19 and they can hopefully work to establish how best to deal with the virus going forward."

Donite Plastics is a leading industrial thermoforming company and has been operating since 1981. The company works across various sectors including agri-tech; aerospace; public transport (bus and coach sectors); construction and material handling, in particular crushing and screening; medical; and film and television.

Belfast Telegraph