PlayStation 3 Will Help Study Alzheimer’s

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Monday, August 28, 2006

The spare processing power of Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3) will be harnessed by US biologists trying to understand the cause of diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Sony has teamed up with US biologists who already run the distributed computing project, folding@home (FAH).

The project harnesses the capacity of thousands of PCs to examine how the shape of proteins, critical to most biological functions, affect disease.

FAH say a network of PS3’s will allow performance similar to supercomputers.

With 10,000 machines joined together the researchers calculate they should be able to do a thousand trillion calculations per second.

If that was achieved it would be nearly four times as fast as the world’s most powerful supercomputer, IBM’s BlueGene/L System, capable of 280.6 trillion calculations per second.

The scientists hope the arrival of the PS3 will take this research up another level.

Sony has demonstrated a piece of protein-folding software that will run on its PS3 when it is launched in November.

via BBC

So go ahead and book your PlayStation 3 even though it isn’t budgeted for :) After all you are after all contributing to real research to cure diseases. I think it is a wonderful humane marketing strategy by Sony. I wish “Don’t be evil” Google will take a leaf from Sony’s book and make their enormous processing power available for protein-folding research.

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