Can a screensaver cure cancer?

A long time ago I found the SETI@home project. It was a screensaver that used your idle computer processor to number crunch data and help find answers in the search for extra terrestrials. Your computing power, along with hundreds of thousands of others, became a way to help in research.

Since then the @home projects have moved on substantially. These days using the BOINC platform, anyone with a computer can help research towards discovering spinning neutron stars by crunching data from the LIGO and GEO satellites, fight malaria by detecting targets in protein to create new drugs, help improve designs of the Large Hadron Collider by running simulations or help generate a highly accurate 3D model of the Milky Way using data gathered from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. There are dozens of projects.

The project I’ve added for my BOINC screensaver is rosetta@home which is determining the shape of proteins which may ultimately lead to finding cures for some major human diseases such as HIV, Cancer and Alzheimer’s.

In my opinion, it should be compulsory for all businesses around the world to use the BOINC platform as their screensaver.

But is it really possible for crowd-computing to cure cancer?

If you’d like to help out, go to the BOINC website and download the software, choose a project and leave your computer on when not using it. Oh, and if you’re from the UK, please join the UK BOINC team and help move us up the worldwide league table of researchers.

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