Do you want to help fight covid-19 without even leaving your home? Every computer has a central processing unit, or CPU, and it can be used to help with protein folding simulations to aide research efforts.
An application called folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project for disease research that simulates protein folding, computational drug design, and other types of molecular dynamics. As of today, the project is using the idle resources of personal computers owned by volunteers from all over the world. Thousands of people contribute to the success of this project and they hope it will eventually be millions.
This project began in 2000 at Stanford University: Under the direction of professor Vijay Pande, The Pande Lab started researching protein folding, computational drug design and other types of molecular dynamics. Recently the team has updated the software to begin simulating potentially druggable protein targets for the virus that causes COVID-19, detailed in a blog post on the FAH website.
How to help: If you would like to join FAH’s research efforts, they have download versions for all major operating systems.
You can either fold anonymously or share your identity, as well as adjust your power settings within the app via the advanced settings. The program will continue to work as long it is opened and based on the preferences you have set.
Tech note: Do you have a computer with a dedicated GPU? Even better, you can put your systems GPU to work helping generate data for scientists fight everything from Covid-19 to cancer.
For more technical detail on CPU and GPU allocation you can find guides on youtube or here. Technical requirements can found on the FAH website, modern gaming graphics cards are the best suited, but almost any hardware can help. So gamers can really help fight COVID-19.
By Sam Schultz