Stanford’s [email protected] is using distributed computing to help develop COVID-19 drugs
What is the [email protected] project?
[email protected] (FAH) is a project run by Stanford University’s Pande Lab that uses the idle resources of personal computers around the world to perform disease research. On February 27, the team behind the project announced they are taking up the fight against the 2019 coronavirus, and on March 10, the team provided an update on their work so far, including open-source files on GitHub for researchers to use.
FAH uses volunteers’ personal computers when the computer is idle or isn’t doing any resource-intensive work to carry out research-related computations. By doing different tasks simultaneously on thousands of volunteer computers across the world, a concept known as distributed computing, the team hopes to significantly speed up the research process, even faster than if they were to use a supercomputer (more on this later).
Besides having incredible computational power, FAH is many magnitudes cheaper to operate than a supercomputer.
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