You can donate unused CPU and GPU power to help combat Coronavirus


If you haven’t heard about it, Folding@home is a project that helps accelerate disease research by using idle computational power from the volunteers who contribute. All you need to do is download Folding@home and donate valuable unused GPU and CPU power to the cause. 

Folding@home works on the distributed model, where computational resources from volunteer computers are culled and assigned to various strains of medical research. You can help aid research against the global threat that is the Coronavirus. Currently, researchers are working tirelessly to understand the structures of potential drug targets for the virus, which in turn will help create new therapies to combat the threat. 

“This initial wave of projects focuses on better understanding how these coronaviruses interact with the human ACE2 receptor required for viral entry into human host cells,” says John Chodera from Chodera labs. “And how researchers might be able to interfere with them through the design of new therapeutic antibodies or small molecules that might disrupt their interaction.”   

There is also a Reddit thread online which you can join for more details. 

“Everyone, no matter the hardware they possess, has a chance to help the research for, and, perhaps, make a big difference in the life of other people,” a statement on PCMR reads. “Who knows if we ourselves, or our children won’t benefit from these researches? Every little bit can help! It’s effectively making it so scientists get faster access to information.” 

The Folding@home software can be kept minimised in the taskbar and not have it bother you or conversely view an entire real-time 3D representation of the process that tracks the protein you are helping research. If you want, this can also be used as a screensaver. You can also read a bit more about the project right in the interface. 

In case you are worried that this might make your PC run a few degrees hotter, you have complete control over the power assigned to the project. You can toggle between the Light, Medium and Full options depending on your usage. As per PCMR, Light barely has any impact on performance or temperatures. 

You can even manually control the number of CPU cores you want to be assigned to the research or set it to only use computational power when the PC is idle.