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Sony PS3 cures Cancer

Posted on Feb 6, 2008 by Paul White

What many people don't realize is that your PS3 has more processing power than most the computers in your house.  Since we only waste a few hours on the PS3, that leaves alot of time when this Awesome power is not being utilized.  Folding at home is a program distributed by Stanford University, to help speed medical research.  Even though most people would think that curing cancer involves lab techs with test tubs, and several thousand rats.  In reality alot of the research is done in simulation.  Protiens make the basic building blocks of our DNA and life for that matter.  Folding at Home runs simulations on Folding Protiens.  I don't know what this means, but in the end it helps researchers get closer to a cure.  Folding at Home has already run for several years on Macs, Windows, and Linus based computers.  But now stanford has released it for the PS3

How does folding at home work?
It takes complex simulations that would normally take years if not centuries to run on a single computer, and breaks up the simulations into parts that can be run at a more localized level.  Basically when you run Folding at home on your system.  Your Computer or PS3 retrives data from Stanford that needs to have work done on it.  Your System then does this work, which can take several hours to several days.  When its finished it sends the results back to stanford.  Then the process repeats itself.  Before the days of using the internet as a way to distribute the work to thousands of clients, researchers had to use large super computers.  These are the same super computers used to predict the weather, and solve complex math problems, even though they still can't beat a man in chess.  With programs like Folding at home,  researches can do their research utilizing the processing power of thousands of networked computers. 

The Folding at Home for the PS3 is a pretty neat little program.  It has a little animation it plays as it does its thing, and plays music.  The only thing I worry about is the PS3 can get pretty hot.  Having your PS3 running all day and night might not be the best thing for its longevity.  Not to meantion the PS3 is not the most energy efficient comptuer when it comes to electricty usage.  There are times when I thnk Sony could have marketed the PS3 as a DVD player, BVD player, and Space Heater.  I might have to do an experiment later to see how much electricty my PS3 uses when Folding at Home is running. 

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