Sony and Stanford University have announced that at the end of October, PS3 consoles will lose their support for the protein folding project, Folding@home, ending a five year relationship, as the Life With PlayStation section is removed from the PS3 dashboard.
While some have expressed dismay that they will no longer be able to use their PlayStation to contribute to the finding cures for diseases like alzheimers, there is a silver lining: part of the reason the cooperation is at an end, is because Stanford is attempting to take some Folding@home simulations and turn them into a viable drug, in what is being considered a new strategy of fighting the degenerative condition.
“The PS3 system was a game changer for Folding@home, as it opened the door for new methods and new processors, eventually also leading to the use of GPUs”, Folding@home’s boss at Stanford, Vijay Pande, told Sony (via Kotaku).
“The next steps, now underway at Stanford, are to take this lead compound and help push it towards a viable drug. It’s too early to report on our preliminary results there, but I’m very excited that the directions set out in this paper do appear to be bearing fruit in terms of a viable drug (not just a drug candidate).”
Throughout their half decade of contributions, the PlayStation 3 contributed a large portion of computing power to the Folding@home project, coming in third in total – behind AMD and Nvidia GPUs.
Folding@home is a project that uses spare CPU and GPU cycles, to simulate the ‘folding’ of proteins in an attempt to discover new methods for tackling diseases such as alzheimer’s, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s disease and many forms of cancer.
KitGuru Says: It’ll be a great day if we can see some sort of cure come out of the millions of hours of processing that has gone into this project. It would be a real tip of the hat to all those that took part.