Open-source collaboration and technological innovation are crucial during a global crisis. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the more resources we can gather to overcome this global threat, the better. An interesting and potentially impactful collaborative initiative to find potential medical solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic has been launched by Folding@home.
On March 15, Folding@Home (FAH) announced the launch of a new initiative that involves individuals across the globe contributing their computing power to simulate the dynamics of COVID-19 proteins in order to find a potential cure and/or treatment for the novel coronavirus.
“Viruses […] have proteins that they use to suppress our immune systems and reproduce themselves. To help tackle the coronavirus, we want to understand how these viral proteins work and how we can design therapeutics to stop them,” the project stated in a blog post.
To gain a deeper understanding of the novel coronavirus and to potentially discover therapeutics for COVID-19, Folding@Home is calling on volunteers to contribute their idle computing power to run protein simulations. Since the initiative has previously made successful strides forward in the fight against Ebola, the project may help to find valuable therapeutic solutions for COVID-19.
Folding@home “is a distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics, including the process of protein folding and the movements of proteins implicated in a variety of diseases,” according to the initiative’s website.
The idea is that citizens scientists around the world volunteer to run simulations of protein dynamics on their computers in order to help scientists develop therapeutics. With the help of volunteers who possess strong graphics cards in their computers, more simulations can be run in a shorter period of time as more computing power is being used to simulate protein dynamics.
Cryptocurrency miners who are using rigs full of GPUs to mine digital currency could help to play their part in solving the COVID-19 crisis by directing their computing power towards finding a potential cure instead. How many crypto miners will forgo mining revenues to potentially save the lives of thousands (if not millions) of people, remains to be seen. But what is clear is that mining pools would be the perfect volunteers for the Folding@Home project.
To contribute your computing power to help find therapeutic solutions for COVID-19, you can download the Folding@Home software here and get started now.