Computers Aid Vaccine Design

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Science  06 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5489, pp. 80-82
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5489.80

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Immunologists are using computer algorithms to help them identify the antigen fragments that trigger immune responses and might thus lead to vaccines for diseases ranging from malaria to cancer. Such "subunit vaccines," immunologists hope, will be less dangerous than those using whole pathogens or cancer cells. But they caution that, despite the number of promising preclinical studies, the algorithms still have to prove their worth on the real-life battlefield between pathogen and host.