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PS3 "Folding@home" to help cure cancer!


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  • PS3 "Folding@home" to help cure cancer!
    PS3 power requested for research project

    Sony invites PlayStation 3 owners to loan their machines' processing power to Stanford study of protein chemistry.
    If you bought a PlayStation 3 thinking it was just for games or watching movies, Sony wants you to know you can use the powerful device for something a lot more important.
    Sony announced on Thursday that owners of any Internet-connected PS3 will be able to participate in a wide-ranging, distributed, scientific experiment led by Stanford University's Folding@home program, which is seeking to better understand a process called protein folding and its relationship to several serious diseases.
    According to a release from Sony, the Stanford program is focusing on how two-dimensional protein strands in the human body fold into the three-dimensional molecules that determine their biological functions, and why incorrect folding can lead to debilitating diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
    But studying the folding process is an extremely complex task requiring vast amounts of computing power, Sony said in its release. Hence the PS3/Folding@home initiative. PS3 participants will be able to lend their console's massive processing power to the effort, much as PC users are able to assist in the SETI@Home project, which is seeking to identify extraterrestrial life.
    PS3 users are expected to be able to start lending their machines to the project on March 23, accessing Folding@home via the PS3's XrossMediaBar, the console's interactive menu system. Once participating machines are connected to the project and idle, Folding@home will tap the devices' unused processing power. Users will be able to watch the scientific simulations in real time, Sony said, as well as interact with the research by manipulating protein strands.
    This sounds really cool to me. It's on the update I'm downloading as I type. Can't wait to see what it's really like.
    St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

    "Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, and work when people are watching" - Dogbert

  • #2
    Re: PS3 "Folding@home" to help cure cancer!

    Just played around with it. It takes 50 MB of space and downloads in about five min.

    The setup is quite cool. The background shows an image of the earth spinning with small points of light showing the location of each PS3 hooked up to the Folding@Home program. (Tons in North America and Japan, one in the Middle East. None in Africa). You can zoom in on this image or spin the globe to see around the world.
    The foreground shows the particular protein sequence they are working on using your machine. it squiggles and wiggles around, folding itself on top of itself. You can also see the progress of that sequence and other data on the screen. (if you click the photo in the first post, you can see a screen shot of it)
    Anyway, you can move the protein sequence around and look at it from all angles.
    There is probably more you can do with it that I haven't discovered yet. It's fun to play around with for a few minutes, but I think I'll log onto it whenever can and I'm not playing a game. It seems like important research and it's cool that I get to help out a bit.
    St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

    "Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, and work when people are watching" - Dogbert


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