Folding@Home for COVID-19 - Episode 220 - Show Notes

Folding@Home for COVID-19 - Episode 220

Sunday Mar 15, 2020 (00:14:28)


The Folding@Home program is a distributed computing platform that is dedicated to finding cures for some of humanity's biggest health problems. The program was started to run predictive algorithms on the folding of proteins. When proteins fold incorrectly, it can cause serious and longterm medical issues. However, over the years, the program has taken on additional issues, including computational drug design and other types of molecular dynamics. Currently, the program has added the COVID-19 coronavirus to the list of problems it is working to solve.

The way the program works is by taking parts of a workload and sending them to various computers around the world that are part of the program. The computer uses the unused computing power of idle machines to help run the predictive algorithms. Once the results are computed, they are sent back to the central server for analysis. This allows the program to accomplish far more than it could ever do alone.

As part of the program, Folding@Home allows users to group together and form teams. Those teams can compete against one another to see whose computers are accomplishing more for the program. Obviously, this is an unnecessary aspect of the program, but it makes it a lot more fun to participate. You can challenge your friends, or two friendly brands can see who can make the biggest difference.

Two of the brands from within Future plc have decided to compete against one another to see which brand can complete more work units. Tom's Hardware and AnandTech will announce the rules of their game, but you can help Avram win. Simply download the Folding@Home program to your computer and signup for team number 40051. By doing this, you can help Avram beat his colleague and help to find cures for diseases at the same time.


Scott Ertz


Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.

Avram Piltch


Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.

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