In these times of uncertainty, one tends to feel hopeless and useless while stuck at home. Luckily, there is a way for everyone to help out in the medical field without being an in-person front-liner and all you need is your computer. Don’t believe me? Just read on.
Ever heard of the program called Folding@Home? Many people haven’t. It is an ingenious computing program, hailing from Stanford University, which focuses on combating not only COVID-19 but many other common viruses that we face.
Seems like a long shot right? Well not really, the program Folding@Homes’ primary aim is to observe and record the protein folding of viruses. From here, the computing program would run simulations of the viruses’ protein attacking our human white blood cells, basically imitating the process of infection. This can assist scientists in the world, find a vaccine.
Why is protein folding important in the huge scale of a pandemic? Proteins are multifunctional parts of any living being’s anatomy, and its function depends on its shape.
Time to battle the pandemic
The Youtuber ‘Techquickie’ explained this wonderfully, by comparing proteins to a piece of paper. The paper holds no actual function until you make it into something, by for example folding it into a paper plane. Unfortunately, protein folding is less simple than that. It happens literally so fast that normal computers simply do not have the power to keep up.
That’s a lot of science and at this point, many of the readers are wondering, so how exactly does this affect me? Well, this computing network of the program can be sped up on your own computer. Essentially, the network borrows a little bit of your computers’ computing power. All that needs to be done, is an installation of their software and the settings of it and that it is all completely safe and legitimate. From there, you can determine how much power you can share and whether the laptop can be on or off when it’s sharing.
Thanks to the contribution of so many individuals and companies around the world, the Folding@Home program is now the world’s BIGGEST supercomputer. All these computers have connected together, globally. to achieve this. For all you gaming people out there, basically, it has a million times more graphic processing power than the new Xbox One Series X.
Humanity and unity are all we have in this time of fear. This program brings people from all around the world together. Check out the references to learn how to contribute and more.
Written by Graciely O’Hara