Big Cruncher

Rosetta@home top computers

I love distributed computing. It’s a great way to help science even if you don’t work in a lab or don’t have lots of money to donate.

The only project I’m crunching for right now is Rosetta@home (I’m waiting for Orbit@home).

I’m excited about it because computational protein/enzyme/RNA design has the potential to move biotech forward a great deal and cure many terrible diseases, help with bioremediation and clean fuel production, and increase our understanding of biology in general.

So I was surprised when I looked at Rosetta@home’s Top Computers list and saw that my new Mac Pro ranks #4. That probably won’t last forever since the project has almost 200,000 users and is still growing at a good pace, so I took a screenshot for posterity (above).

Technology Review recently published a piece about Dr. Baker’s work (the head of Rosetta@home and of the Baker Lab at Washington University) and what they call “a major step forward for computational protein design”. Check it out, and if you aren’t already crunching, I strongly encourage you to join a project.

Idle CPUs are sad little unproductive things, wasting their potential. Give yours something interesting to work on.

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