Fighting the Corona Virus At Home - Join Us!

in #science12 days ago (edited)

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There isn't much we can do to help with the Wuhan Flu that has swept the world from home... especially during a quarantine.

However!

There is something we can do with our computers while we wait things out. By donating our spare CPU or GPU processing power by using [email protected], we can lend some computing cycles to help examine the protein structures of COVID-19 in order to know more about it and eventually find a cure.

[email protected] (FAH or [email protected]) 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. It brings together citizen scientists who volunteer to run simulations of protein dynamics on their personal computers. Insights from this data are helping scientists to better understand biology, and providing new opportunities for developing therapeutics.

I wasn't sure how well this is known amongst the Hive community but thought that this would be a good place to spread the word. Quite a few of us are technically minded and have some pretty powerful systems that could be used to help. So what are you waiting for?!

Let's get the Hive community to help out!

To get things started, I've set up both of my systems to help and you can too! It's very easy to get started. One is my MacPro, 8 core and the other is my MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get my GPUs to work with it yet. The program recognizes my NVidea card, but no jobs have been sent to that part of my system yet.

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NOT JUST COVID-19

[email protected] provides protein folding power to other diseases like Alzheimer's and Zika as well. The program decides what data you're going to crunch, so if your computer isn't used to fight COVID-19, it will be used for other devastating human diseases.

Proteins are molecular machines that perform many functions we associate with life. They sense the environment (e.g. in taste and smell), perform work (e.g. muscle contraction and breaking down food), and play structural roles (e.g. your hair). They are made of a linear chain of chemicals called amino acids that, in many cases, spontaneously “fold” into compact, functional structures. Much like any other machine, it’s how a protein’s components are arranged and move that determine the protein’s function. In this case, the components are atoms.

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Downloading [email protected] and helping us run simulations is the primary way to contribute. These calculations are enormous and every little bit helps! Each simulation you run is like buying a lottery ticket. The more tickets we buy, the better our chances of hitting the jackpot. Usually, your computer will never be idle, but we’ve had such an enthusiastic response to our COVID-19 work that you will see some intermittent downtime as we sprint to setup more simulations. Please be patient with us! There is a lot of valuable science to be done, and we’re getting it running as quickly as we can.

TEAMS

A fun aspect to this program is there are teams! I've joined my friend's team HapticFolders. If you decide to lend some of your computing power to [email protected], please join our team! You enter the number 250199 in your configuration tab.

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Check it out and get folding, @hivestem! 🤓

UPDATE:

I found this article by PC Gamer. Looks like a distributed network of likeminded people, working together can become the most powerful computer on earth. :)

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