During this pandemic, computer groups and science groups are asking gamers and the like to donate their spare graphics cards power to help in the fight against COVID-19. The biggest application is Folding@Home and is backed by Nvidia and other technology companies. This app is a distributed computing project that simulates the molecular levels of a virus. Not to worry though, if you need your full running power back, you can just turn off the app and have your full power up and running.
This is not a new idea, however. Groups have been using this software to investigate cancer, new drugs, Parkinson’s, and other viruses. The software uses extra CPU and GPU cycles of numerous (near the thousands) computers to replicate the protein folding and drug design. Put simply, these groups use computers simulations to understand a viruses moving parts. This is also called Genome analysis. There are different sequencing platforms that can generate up to 6 TerraBytes of data every day. An example is such as DNBSEQ-T7 from MGI. With that much data coming through it’s no wonder they need all the extra GPU and CPU power they can get.
All the data generated must then be analyzed, so this effort takes a lot of time. So much helpful information needs to be sorted and documented to fully understand what goes on inside a virus. Once a scientist understands the proteins and how they interact within the virus, they have a better chance at discovering therapeutics to treat it. Whether that be a cure or a vaccine, it is needed.
With analysis requiring so much time, this process may not seem that helpful. Luckily an Ann Arbor, MI based startup, Parabricks, has created a platform to speed up the analyzation process of whole genomes. Going from days to look over the 3 billion base pairs of the human chromosome to under an hour. That is saving time and money and leading the way to help find a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic. Parabricks, being a program, is being offered free for 30 days to anyone that signs up for Folding@Home through Nvidia.
Donate your extra CPU and GPU power today and help find a cure for COVID-19!
For more information go to https://foldingathome.org/covid-19/