Folding@Home and Its Impact On COVID-19

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

I want to make the case for something I'm seriously dedicated to: Folding@Home.

If you've ever mined cryptocurrency, or read about evil 'botnets' in hacking, just think of this as mining for cures for diseases... or as a botnet used for GOOD. It really just allows volunteers act as pieces of one giant decentralized supercomputer. What it is is essentially an app you run on your computer, that some Harvard servers send requests down to for your PC to crunch numbers ("fold") relative to certain proteins they're studying. It's science stuff over my head, but the tech stuff I'm all about.


I've been folding since ~2013, and in February 2020, not being a doctor or scientist or anything remotely related to the medical field, I wanted to do my part to help stop COVID in any possible way I could. So I signed up to help nurses get 3D printed masks and PPE that I printed out at home, and set up every single piece of equipment with a CPU/GPU in it around my house and sent them folding.


I've even spun up cloud desktops meant for gaming (eg. 'Shadow') to help out. Even racked up a pretty legit number of points under my username over the years too as another mini-motivator to keep the clients running.


Folding@Home, specifically for the current pandemic, has these new COVID 'moonshot' projects now dedicated to COVID-19 that use the folds our computers complete and send back to them to use in gigantic datasets they compile to speed up research, understand and develop new therapies at WAY faster rates than anytime before the advent of technologies like this.



So anyway, I encourage you and anyone you know that wants to help do something to get COVID handled, to download the app and let it run when you go to bed. You get points (which have no real value but are cool), and contribute to saving the world in some small way. Setup's literally just a couple clicks, you don't have to configure a thing manually if you don't want (or don't know how... although I imagine most readers of this site would know how).


Download, or just read and learn about it here: https://foldingathome.org/

And if you feel like contributing to the most legit cause I've ever seen on Patreon (and what pushed me to write this post to begin with), you can donate to the super nerds that run this beautiful system here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/covidmoonshot


I fold for team: 44851 if you start folding and want to join it. It's team 'Hack-A-Day', which personally is one of my favorite sites on the internet.


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