Surely veteran of the internet will remember a screensaver that became fashionable at the beginning of the present century. Our computers were able to connect to a server from the University of California Berkeley. We were able to help in the search for intelligent life in space. Now using the same idea within folding@home platform we can assist coronavirus research.
The idea behind it is very simple. It consists in that our computer can take advantage of its processing capacity to help researchers against the Covid-19. In theory, the greater the processing capacity that the community achieves, the faster the necessary data can be filtered to find a cure.
Do not think that this folding@home program has only been launched for questions such the coronavirus . Not at all, he has been active for more than fifteen years. Asking for support to other equally important struggles such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. Although the Covid-19 is the highest priority right now, this type of tool should not be forgotten.
How To Assist Coronavirus Research With Your Computer?
Getting started is easy. First download the Folding@Home client for the operating system that you have on the computer. Right now, folding@home is compatible with Windows 10, macOS, Linux and other web platforms. So you will have no problems starting it. Once installed you will have to decide if you want to contribute processing power anonymously or by creating an account. The difference is that we are earning points within the system.
Once inside we will have several parameters to configure. The type of research that we support, which we can choose from a dropdown menu that you will see in the upper left part of the window, and the amount of power that the task will demand of the processor. That is, if we want it to take away many, few or an average amount of resources. Depending on the activity you are doing, you will have to choose this function. For example, if you are editing video, it will be best to leave it in light. While if you are using office applications or web browsing, you can take it to the maximum.
It is also possible to choose when folding@home will be put to work. When we are using the computer or in moments of rest when we make a small break, rest or whatever. Obviously, more resources we give, more we contribute to the cause of investigating the coronavirus.
This interactive map helps you track the evolution of the corona virus throughout the planet in real time
To give you an idea of the work carried out by initiatives like these, director Greg Bowman, one of the researchers behind the program, commented:
“One protein from 2019-nCoV, a protease encoded by the viral RNA, has already been crystallised. Although the 2019-nCoV spike protein of interest has not yet been resolved bound to ACE2, our objective is to use the homologous structure of the SARS-CoV spike protein to identify therapeutic antibody targets.”
This application is accessible through web browser. When we close the tab the investigation will continue to use resources from our computer thanks to the app that we have previously installed. So there is no risk of thinking that we have stopped contributing for this cause against Covid-19.