Folding@Home, the app that lets you support research into cures for some of the world’s most prevalent diseases, has just undergone a serious upgrade.
Protein folding research requires an incredible amount of processing power to simulate the complex movements of proteins as they change shape. Every time someone uses the Folding@Home app, they contribute some of their phone’s processing power to this world-changing programme of research and in the process, help scientists to understand the causes of major diseases such as Breast Cancer and Alzheimer’s.
With over 150,000 users in total, and more than 70,000 smartphones already connected to the grid, researchers like Dr Vijay Pande from Stanford University, can utilise the combined processing power of tens of thousands of smartphones to achieve far more than can be done through traditional methods. Describing the new updates, Dr Pande said:
“The protein we’re researching takes about 300,000 nanoseconds to fold, and a smartphone can simulate about one nanosecond per day, that gives you some idea of the scale we’re working with, but if 10,000 phones work eight hours a day, the project could be complete in less than three months! The latest update to the app will make it simpler and more enjoyable for people to get involved in this important research, and provide a great boost to our team and its efforts.”
Unlike previous versions, Folding@Home 2.0 lets users collaborate continuously – meaning that you can now (battery permitting) set it running whenever you want, contributing to the research at any time. The new iteration comes with a completely updated UI and aims to increase contribution time by introducing gamified elements, letting users earn achievements while competing against friends and enhanced social sharing.
Get involved with the Folding@Home project by downloading the latest version of the app at the Google Play Store or for a full list of features, check out the specs below: