PS3 Will Assist Biologists For A Good Cause

The PS3 is more than just a powerful next generation gaming console, it will also be used to assist scientists to help understand Alzheimer’s and other diseases.

Sony has combined forces with the FAH, short for folding@home, which consists of several biologists who run what is called the distributed computing project.

This project uses thousands of PC’s to help us understand how the shape of proteins have an effect on disease. A network of PS3’s will allow performance similar to that of supercomputers.

Researchers estimate they should be able to perform one thousand trillian calculations per second by joining 10,000 machines. That is 4x faster than the world’s fastest supercomputer created by IBM, the Blue/Gene L system which is capable of 280.6 trillion calculations per second.

How It Works

Volunteers download software for their PC or PS3’s which enables their consoles processing power to be used while in idle mode.

Small packets of data are crunched by individual machines. The information is sent back via the Internet to a central computer where all the results can be viewed.

This method has already helped scientists understand malaria and how it spreads which will enable them to learn how to control the disease.