ST. LOUIS – You and your home computer could help discover a medicine, vaccine, or even a cure for COVID-19. It’s is an amazing story and happening right here in St. Louis.
“The more people we get the faster we can go,” said Dr. Greg Bowman, a researcher at Washington University School of Medicine.
Bowman and his team are tying together home and work computers from around the world and using all that computing power to help cure COVID-19.
“These calculations could easily take 10 million years on a single computer. When you get 10 million computers working together, we can now do them in a year,” he said.
So far, they have 4 million computers connected. The computers have created a model created by all those machines which shows the coronavirus attaching to a human cell and infecting it.
The virus is made up of proteins or tiny like machines. Researchers are creating a map of what the proteins can do.
“Trying to understand how they work and, in this case, how we can break them to prevent the virus from infecting us and taking over our cells and replicating itself,” Bowman said.
Those millions of computers do all the work. Your computer can too. You download a program and, while you sleep, your computer goes to work and you’ve become a citizen scientist.
Bowman said there’s lots of security built into the program to keep your computer from becoming infected. Researchers have promising results they hope to publish in the soon.
“Our estimate we are 5 to 10 times more powerful than the world’s fastest super computer,” he said.
After COVID-19 is solved, researchers will return to working on Alzheimer’s and Ebola.
(web editors please include the following after my story thanks roche)
To download the Folding@home software and start contributing to COVID-19 research, visit https://foldingathome.org/start-folding/.