The key to effective design of new anticancer drugs is the ability to target specific biomolecules by carefully engineering the 3-D shape of new drug molecule to reach the optimal docking between a drug and target-enzyme. Currently chemists and biochemists can ‘tune’ this energetic interaction purely with the aid of visual software. The process is imperfect, slow and often misses some of the principal electronic interactions. However, recent research shows that auditory display – displaying data as sound – has potential alongside visual representations to improve the efficiency and speed of this aspect of drug design.
We’ve built a Sonicules computer game that allows the public to engage with the drug design process. It allows people of all ages to understand more about the complexities of designing new drugs and how researchers are using 3-D sound to aid chemical engineers meet these challenges.