Ever wonder if your multi-core processor computer is really being put to good use? A few months ago, I wondered that myself, and decided to donate my cores to some good use. Since much of the time, two or more cores of my quad-core PC are idle, I use Folding@Home software from the genius’ at Stanford University. This ingenuous software gets installed onto your computer, and them when a processor is idle, it uses it to help Standford scientists Fold protein chains virtually.
Now I am not a scientist, but the idea of this is to simulate protein folding, which when gone array, makes for some diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, BSE (Mad Cow disease). Labs all over are using the data our computers simulate to “unfold” the mysteries of these diseases in hopes of finding a cure.
The program is available for download on PC’s, MAC, LINUX, and included on the PS3 game console. I must say some versions are easier to install than others, and wished the MAC version was simple, but since it was not, I installed it on my PC. Currently, there is somewhere in the range of 250,000 individual processors computing at any one time. Imagine if we could take all of the idle office computers at night and have Folding@Home run until the next morning.
Take a look and donate your computer’s downtime to some scientific research that is good for all of humanity!
Learn more about Folding@Home (Folding at Home) at folding.stanford.edu