Here’s how you can contribute to coronavirus research

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The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has many folks concerned, so much so that electronics manufacturer Sharp will start producing surgical masks later this month owing to an increase in demand.

To date, the virus has claimed the lives of 3 043 people around the globe with the World Health Organisation confirming 88 948 cases of COVID-19.

Researchers around the world are working to better understand the virus and you can help as well.

This is thanks to an application you can download on your Linux, Windows and Mac called [email protected] (FAH).

A project of The Pande Lab, FAH makes use of unused computing power via a distributed network. This allows FAH to simulate protein folding, computational drug design and molecular dynamics.

The project tackles diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease and now you can contribute to research regarding COVID-19.

“By downloading [email protected], you can donate your unused computational resources to the [email protected] Consortium, where a research team at Memorial Sloan Kettering is working to advance our understanding of the structures of potential drug targets for 2019-nCoV that could aid in the design of new therapies,” wrote Ariana Brenner Clerkin for FAH.

“The data you help us generate will be quickly and openly disseminated as part of an open science collaboration of multiple laboratories around the world, giving researchers new tools that may unlock new opportunities for developing lifesaving drugs,” adds Clerkin.

To download FAH simply head to this link and select your operating system and download the associated installation files.

While contributing to research is great we must caution you about using FAH.

The application will kneecap your PC’s performance should you want to keep using it for work. On a Windows 10 PC with an AMD Ryzen 5 3600, FAH used 41 percent of our CPU at the low setting. Thermals also spiked to 76 degrees Celsius after about five minutes of use.

We’d recommend running FAH after hours when your PC is not in use and to monitor your temperatures and CPU usage throughout.

“With many computers working towards the same goal, we aim to develop a therapeutic remedy as quickly as possible. By downloading [email protected], you can help provide us with the computational power required to tackle this problem,” wrote Clerkin.

So if you have a few MHz around to spare for COVID-19 research, download FAH.

[Image – Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.