Stanford University’s Folding@home Distributed Computing Project is looking for volunteers to help researchers develop treatments for new coronaviruses. Folding@home (FAH) is a distributed-based protein folding computing project launched by Stanford University that helps determine how to treat Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and SARS coronaviruses.
Folding@home project, in a brief explanation, wrote
For two coronaviruses (current 2019 nCoV and SARS), the first step in infection occurs in the lungs when the protein on the surface of the virus binds to the receptor protein on the lung cells. This viral protein is called a protrusion protein.
Proteins are not stagnant, they oscillate, fold and expand to render multiple shapes. Not only do we need to study the shape of a viral protrusion protein, but we also need to study all the ways in which the protein oscillates and folds into other shapes.
Studying how proteins fold could eventually help researchers develop drugs that can treat viral infections. This kind of research requires a lot of computing power, and FAH is generated by using its CPU when volunteers are idle.
The project used to use the idle Sony PlayStation 3 game console to deliver better performance than its peers at the time with a unique “Core” processor. But Sony removed the feature from the PS3 in 2012.
If you want to participate in a research project on the new coronavirus, download the FAH software and contribute to Folding@home Consortium the performance of a computer you are not using. Memorial Sloan Kettering’s research team is working to improve our understanding of the structure of potential drug targets for 2019-nCoV, which can help design new therapies.