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EASI is helping to find a cure for COVID-19!

27/03/2020
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Wouter Deneyer
System Engineer, EASI

You say what now? A consultancy firm is aiding in medical research? Yes! Thanks to the distributed computing platform called Folding@Home.

Folding?

A very brief summary of the explanation: a protein consists of a amino acids. They can take on 3 types of functions.

  • Enzymes
  • Structural elements
  • Antibodies.

However in order to perform their function, they have to take on a specific shape, called a "fold". So if a protein is designated to be an anti-body, before it can do its job, it has to assemble itself, called "folding". You can find more info about it here.

The Folding@Home project

Its initial focus was on protein folding but has shifted to more biomedical problems, such as Alzheimer's disease, cancer, COVID-19, and Ebola.

The project uses the idle processing resources of personal computers owned by volunteers who have installed the software on their systems.

Currently, Folding@Home is the largest, and most powerful, computing system in the world.

On March 25 2020, a new record was set, with a computing power of 768 petaFLOPs. To give you a comparison, Summit, the current fastest 'centralized' supercomputer can only output a mere 200 petaFLOPs. In fact, the sum of the 10 most powerful supercomputers is only 740 petaFLOPs...

Currently, all that processing power is being prioritized to find a cure/vaccin/research COVID-19.

How is EASI helping?

As you might have read in this article. EASI is working fully in Cloud2be now.

Meaning that our servers in our offices aren't getting any work to do. We decided not to let all those resources just do nothing & deployed the VMware Appliance for F@H.

Can I help?

For sure! Every CPU-cycle the F@H project gets, helps! It takes less than 5 minutes to get it up & running!

  1. Download the client https://foldingathome.org/alternative-downloads/
  2. Next > I agree > Express Install > Finish



  3. A web page will open.
  4. Choose to set up an Identity & click "Start Folding"
  5. Not mandatory: register for a passkey here



  6. Enter a username & Team 250480 (& the passkey if you registered for one)
  7. Change the settings as you like

"Any disease" project means that you will primarily be working on COVID19.

Power: indicates how much processing power FAH can use, setting it to "Light" gives no noticeable impact on performance of your device.

When: indicates when Folding will happen on your computer. Idle means "when my screen is locked".

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