What if I told you there was something that your fancy gaming PC could do while you're busy playing on your Switch? (Or... I don't know, sleeping?) What if that something was to help disease research, including coronavirus and cancer research? If you're a PC enthusiast, you sure put a lot of money into that rig. Don't let that rig just be eye candy!
[email protected] is a computing project for disease research based out of Stanford University. By using your GPU's horsepower, it can run complex processes to study how proteins move when in action. Their website equates their research process to American football: Yes, you can glean a lot of information by observing the opponent pre-snap, but you won't see the whole picture. There are countless ways the opposing team can act after the snap. By studying the opposing team's movements, teams can come up with plans for whatever the opponent may throw at them. Disease research can be the same way!
Your precious GPU can help the researchers run many scenarios to help understand how the proteins move in relation to one another and in turn help develop things like therapy solutions. They equate each simulation to a lottery ticket; the next one could be a winner. For example, these simulations have even exposed new ways to treat ebola with drugs when at one point ebola was considered 'undruggable'!
Sure, there are cryptocurrency mining programs that are out there so that you can earn a whopping $12 a month, but why not instead donate that computing power to help researchers fight the coronavirus? That $12 or so sacrifice could help the many out there that are most vulnerable to the virus.
Think of all the Skyrim grandmother's out there that you may be saving.
Do your good deed for the day?
Essentially, there's little to no reason not to try this out. You do not even need a beast of a rig to contribute. While I am sure many of us may end up with plenty of time on our hands, this is certainly something we could leave running overnight or during the day when we are doing something else.
Note: Current options allow you to support research fighting alzheimer's, cancer, parkinson's, huntingdon's, or any. They are currently on the case to create more simulations for COVID-19 (affectionately known as coronavirus). In the meantime, maybe it'll be your rig that finds the next breakthrough in cancer research.