Participants in the project to combat coronavirus accidentally create the most powerful supercomputer in history

Despite the mistakes made at the beginning of the pandemic, humanity is seizing the initiative, and along the way, with the direct fight against the coronavirus, sets new records. The Folding @ Home project to create a cure for coronavirus reports about an increase in the number of participants to 700, 000, and its total computing power is now 2.4 exaflops. This is already something more than a supercomputer, because now the capacity of the project exceeds the capabilities of the 500 best supercomputers in the world combined.

The desire to find a cure for coronavirus as soon as possible motivates people to help the project. Fortunately, the owner of any laptop or PC can do this. A month ago, at the end of March, when COVID-19 only hit Western countries, the Folding @ Home project immediately received tangible support. Another 400, 000 joined the 30, 000 permanent members, and the network capacity increased to 470 petaflops. Since then, the number of participants has almost doubled and the capacity has grown 6 times.

What is such power spent on? The work is now focused on modeling the properties of the SARS-CoV-2 virus "spike" - a structure of three proteins by which the virus attaches to ACE2 cells. This object was named "Demogorgon", by analogy with the monster from the TV series "Stranger Things", due to its visual similarity. The task of the scientists and their assistants from the Folding @ Home project is to find a way to block this thorn.

In other words, the most powerful computing network in human history is working to make the virus "toothless", and progress is already visible. Moreover, the administration of the project is confident that soon the number of participants will exceed 1, 000, 000. It's time to dream about what useful things such fantastic power can be used for after we cope with COVID-19.