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PlayStation 3 helps Folding@home with further disease research

Aside from powering some of this holiday season’s most impressive games and providing playback of high-definition movies, the Cell Broadband Engine is also exceptionally adept at medical and scientific applications requiring massive amounts of floating-point computational power.
Since joining Stanford University’s Folding@home program in March, the PlayStation 3 has led all processors in sheer productivity numbers. It should come as no surprise that Sony announced this week that PlayStation 3 consoles all over the world have helped the Folding@home project to reach a petaflop, a milestone never before reached on a distributed computing network.
"The recent inclusion of PS3 as part of the Folding@home program has afforded our research group with computing power that goes far beyond what we initially hoped," said Vijay Pande, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and Folding@home project lead. "Thanks to PS3, we are now essentially able to fast-forward several aspects of our research by a decade, which will greatly help us make more discoveries and advancements in our studies of several different diseases."
"When we introduced PS3, we knew its incredible processing power would allow for a great deal of innovation and creativity," said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of SCEA. "It's extremely rewarding to see that the scientific community has found a way to harness PS3 technology for humanitarian purposes and we continue to be amazed at what gamers and the Folding@home community have been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time."
The Folding@home program runs simulations in protein folding, helping scientists understand – and hopefully curing – diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and certain forms of cancer. That’s not all the PS3’s CPU is able to do for the medical community, though, as the Cell Broadband Engine is also helping doctors at Mayo Clinic with medical imaging.

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RE: This is a great use of technology
By therealnickdanger on 9/21/2007 2:01:27 PM , Rating: 5
I have to wonder, can you write off the additional money you spend on electricity when running F@H as a charitable donation?

By ghost101 on 9/21/2007 3:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
You mean get a tax rebate? Because i dont see private electricity companies subsidising folding@home costs anytime soon.

RE: This is a great use of technology
By falc0ne on 9/21/07, Rating: -1
By Dactyl on 9/22/2007 12:52:45 AM , Rating: 2
How is it selfish to want a tax write-off for giving to charity?

The government allows people to write off charitable contributions in order to encourage charity.

A write-off just means that more of the money goes to the charity and less to the government. There is nothing selfish about it. I don't think you understand how our tax system works.

Maybe I am willing to give $25 to charity, but if you allow me to write it off, then I save $5 on my taxes, so I am willing to give $30 to charity. The end result: the charity gets $5 more, the government gets $5 less, I have the same amount of money in my wallet--no greed involved at all.

By PrinceGaz on 9/22/2007 1:28:53 PM , Rating: 2
Rare? I thought Alzheimer's was quite common in the elderly. Allegedlly, over five million Americans have it, which is anything but rare:

By randomwalk16 on 9/24/2007 9:55:55 PM , Rating: 2
The last comment was probably tongue-in-cheek, but it got me curious.

The F@H website says their in-house ps3's eat about 200W of energy when running the program.

Figure about 8 hrs per work-unit (also taken from the site), and that comes to about 1.6KWhr. Assume 13cents per kilowatt-hour (approximate cost in New Jersey) and you get about approximately 21cents per work unit.

Therefore, if you did a work unit every night, it would be about 75$ a year tacked onto your electricity bill. Not exactly negligible, but most people aren't doing a work unit a night, and even if you are, thats not going to break the bank.

Also, many other states have significantly different costs of energy....

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