Biotech

HOW SCIENTISTS ARE USING THE CROWD TO SOLVE PROBLEMS IN BIOTECH

As the coronavirus pandemic began to force people to stay home, many of us asked the same question: What can we do to help defeat this virus? Hundreds of thousands of people answered that question by joining a crowd-sourced science effort to find drugs against the new coronavirus, an effort that is part of a project called Folding@Home. Folding@Home, founded by Stanford engineering professor Vijay Pande and directed in part by my Washington University colleague Greg Bowman, has used crowdsourcing to build the world’s fastest supercomputer. The project uses the CPUs of the computers of volunteers all over the world to resource intensive simulations of biomolecules, including the protein used by the coronavirus to force its way into human cells.

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