Thursday, December 6, 2007

Own a PS3? You Can Help Cure Disease

Turns out that Sony's powerful PS3, though loosing the console war to Wii, is somthing of a supercomputer. No really. IBM is working on an actual heavy metal product using some gaming silicon on board. And check out this radical cluster configuration.

The PS3's powerful processor is uniquely suited to a certain kind of intensive and repetetive calculation. So If you own the Ford Excursion of gaming consoles, you can download some software and devote some cycles to a really good cause. What is that, you ask? Increasing our understanding of how protein molecules "fold" and "unfold." Turns out the the biophysics of this physiological marvel impacts a number of chronic illnesses; like Alzheimer's, Mad Cow Disease and many cancers. So this is very good work. Makes up for a lot of slacking around chilling on the couch with controller in hand. Check out the Stanford-based "folding at home" project, here, to see what you can do. (Don't you just love the project title? Must have had a marketing maven on the team.) And read their executive summary in pdf format, here.

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