How often do you turn your computer off at night when you go to sleep? If you’re anything like me, you leave your computer on most of the time. With the way those devices are set up, you don’t really have to worry about power consumption anyway. The thing is, unless the device is doing some important tasks, there really is no point in leaving it on, is there? Unless you devote your idle computing power to a bigger cause.
You probably have an idea what I’m talking about. After all, using the idle computer time of people all over the world is not a new concept. We’ve all heard of projects such as SETI@home (Berkeley) and Folding@home (Stanford). The former is basically a scientific experiment that makes use of people’s idle computer time to search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), while the latter helps find cures for diseases.
There is a newcomer to the scene: Quantum Cures. The entity was founded only in January, with the goal of designing drug molecules that will prevent, or cure, certain diseases such as the following:
- Congenital toxoplasmosis
- Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Isolated spina bifida
- Noonan syndrome
- Familial melanoma
So how is Quantum Cures different from Folding@home? Do we really need another such system? From the web site:
Drugs used to be discovered by taking millions of natural substances, like tree bark, snake venom, plant extracts, and others, and testing them in the laboratory to see what made animals better. Newer methods used chemical “screening” to test thousands of materials at a time to see what reacted with natural proteins. Quantum Cures uses a computer program to match the shape of a target protein to a molecule that is specifically designed to “fit” that protein, like a key in a lock. Using artificial intelligence methods, millions of molecules are examined by the program, and the best ones are found. That’s why Quantum Cures needs to use your computer’s spare computing power, and millions of others around the world, too.
Indeed, there are more diseases out there than we can count, and not all of them are being paid attention to. If have idle computer time anyway, why not put it to good use? Currently, the project takes on “donations” from users in the United States, so go have a look and see how you can help!