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You Can Help Researchers in Finding a Cure for Coronavirus Too, by Folding@Home

Representative image of coronavirus. (Reuters/Nexu Science Communications)

Representative image of coronavirus. (Reuters/Nexu Science Communications)

Folding@Home runs in the background and taps into the additional computing power of your personal machines, pooling them into a COVID-19 research base.

As we actively continue to work from home, scientists and researchers across the world are actively on the lookout for potential drug matches, cures and vaccines to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While the best way in which you can do your bit is by staying indoors and avoiding physical contact as far as possible, Folding@Home has another way through which you can contribute to the global fight against COVID-19, all without venturing outdoors, or taking on any activity that might threaten your own safety, and in turn, the safety of those around you.

The Folding@Home community is a distributed computing project, which you can register on and enable your own personal laptop or PC, whichever you use. Once downloaded, you can then give it express permission to work in the background. How Folding@Home works is that, when your personal laptops and devices are not being used actively, its processor and graphics powers are pooled in to process algorithms hosted on cloud networks. As a result, your personal computer would become one of the thousands of processors that will pool in their own processing power towards a common cause — in this case, giving our researchers more firepower to run more robust algorithms, which in turn can be critical in finding a cure for SARS-CoV-2.

According to recent reports, Folding@Home has seen an exciting amount of participation globally, with reputed technology publications Tom's Hardware and AnandTech challenging each other to a race, to see which of the two mighty proponents of the PC Master Race can contribute more to the distributed computing project, all for a great cause. Other mighty contributors are them folks behind the incredible Summit supercomputer, all of whom have come together to create a 1,200 percent increase in the amount of contribution, amounting to over 4,00,000 new members in the past couple of weeks.

Folding@Home is, hence, the best way in which you can use your computers at home to help researchers find a cure for the global pandemic, faster. It does not matter how less powerful your laptop may be, any contribution goes that extra inch in taking progress forward. The premier space organisation, NASA, has also leaned in to the global coronavirus battle by pulling in the might of its own supercomputers, and software giants such as Microsoft have brought in their machine learning expertise to create a vast database of coronavirus-related published research work, all of which may go some way in us finally finding a cure for the deadly pandemic.