Folding at Home

Published in Technology - 1 min to read

I’ve deliberately refrained from writing about la grippe du jour because it feels like it’s all anyone else is writing about and I am forever a contrarian, however today’s post is at least somewhat related.

Now that SETI@home has gone into ‘hibernation’ while Berkeley scientists focus on analysing their existing dataset, which admittedly must be pretty huge by now, and given cryptos recent swan dive back to pre-2017 prices, there’s huge swathes of GPUs simply idling across the globe, when they could all be doing their tiny little part to better society. One pretty neat way to do so is to join the Folding@home party and put your spare processor cycles to work by simulating protein folding.

DeepMind recently brought protein folding to the attention of the wider tech community and while I won’t pretend to understand any of the biochemistry involve, the computing aspect is pretty interesting, and it’s an application of modern technology that is refreshing not-evil. Sure, I might not have quite the hardware that Google are hooking DeepMind up with to achieve such stellar results, but the idea that the handful of proteins I can compute on my lowly GTX 970 might contribute to research into the C-Word warms my soul a little.