If we were to say that Solopress had started folding, you would be forgiven for thinking that we were talking about preparing our latest brochure order. However, what we are actually doing is lending some of our server power to help some extremely clever people try to understand more about COVID-19, with the aim of eventually being able to design therapeutics to combat the virus.
[email protected] is a distributed computing project based at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Its purpose is to help scientists in their efforts to develop new therapeutics for diseases. They do this by simulating the dynamics of proteins that viruses like COVID-19 all have, using them to reproduce and limit the effectiveness of our immune system.
These simulations allow scientists to observe how the atoms in a protein move rather than viewing them as a static snapshot. This process is called ‘protein folding’, which is where the project got its name. By creating and studying simulations like the one below, this can reveal to them new therapeutic opportunities that are otherwise unknown.
So, what exactly are Solopress doing we hear you ask? Well, that is the beauty of the [email protected] project. Each simulation that is created requires a lot of computer power, and they need to run an enormous number of simulations to hopefully find something the scientists can use against COVID-19.
With our business not as busy as it would normally be, we have a lot of server space that is currently not being utilised. We have given this space to [email protected] to use, meaning that our servers are being used to create these simulations.
Not that we’re competitive, but at the time of writing the amount of CPU that we are making available ranks 15,436 out of 250,000+ worldwide, and we’re looking at ways in which we can increase our contribution further! You can check out how we’re getting on here (again, we’re definitely not competitive…)
We would encourage any businesses in a similar position to ourselves to get involved, and it is also something that individuals can volunteer for using their personal computers. All of the information you will need can be found on their website here: https://foldingathome.org/covid19/