Forget the console war. Sony’s PlayStation 3 is set to save the world, one disease at a time.
If the Playstation 3 cures cancer, maybe it won’t seem so overpriced. Sony recently released software that lets gamers connect their PS3s to Stanford University’s Folding@Home program, which borrows processing power from thousands of PCs to create protein-folding simulations. By analysing how protein misfolds lead to cancer and other diseases, researchers hope to find better treatments, or even cures. At press time, only about 84 000 PS3s have joined, compared to nearly 2 million computers. But since the console is a natural at simulations, those philanthropic gamers have nearly doubled Folding@Home’s processing power. Now, if only the Nintendo Wii let you fold the proteins yourself.
– Erik Sofge