Day 61 of Self-Isolation in Switzerland – World Community Grids Pandemic work units.

By | 15/05/2020

World Community Grids OpenPandemic work units are now ready. With your laptop or desktop, you can help find a cure for COVID-19.

As a World Community Grid volunteer, you download a secure software program to your computer. And when your computer is not using its full computing power, it will automatically run a simulated experiment in the background which will help predict the effectiveness of a particular chemical compound as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

Research: OpenPandemics – COVID-19: Project Overview

Downloading and installing the software and creating an account is quick and easy. Once you have done this, and once the application is running your laptop or desktop will help in the effort. It costs us little effort and we can still use the computer as usual.

The idea is not a new one. My laptops and desktops have been contributing to such efforts for decades now. I was introduced to this concept back in the late 90s to early 20th century. My first glimpse of this was the Seti@Home research project back in 2002.

With Grid computing, you don’t need to purchase or develop supercomputers. Instead, you rely on a networked cluster of computers to work together to process data. Instead of requesting and waiting for slots to become available on supercomputers scientists have access to thousands of machines to help them work through the data. Every work unit is worked on by at least two or more computers and verified.

World Community Grid has 650,000 individual contributers and 460 organisations helping in the effort. They have contributed to 31 research projects to date. This has resulted in 35 peer reviewed papers.

A graphic representation of the candidate being evaluated.

Over the years my computers have contributed 356 days of computing power. They have generated over a million points for mapping cancer markers. They have contributed to the Microbiome Immunity Project, FightAIDS@Home Phase 2, OpenZika, Outsmart Ebola Together, Genome Comparison, Help Defeat Cancer, Fight Aids@Home, and Smash Childhood Cancer.

My contributions so far.

Although Folding@Home gave people the power to help in the search to beat COVID-19 sooner I prefer the World Community Grid application because it runs in the background without me hearing the fans running. When you’re using a laptop that you want to keep using for years this is important.

I will leave you with this short video.

See you tomorrow.

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