Has the novel coronavirus got you working from home yet? Are you staying in with a bit of extra free time now that school’s been canceled? More importantly, have you washed your hands? COVID-19 was recently declared by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, as COVID-19 case counts continue to rise all over the world. It’s led to lockdowns, panic buyers emptying out supermarkets, and countless event cancellations, including E3 2020.
As we collectively shut ourselves in out of fear of the coronavirus, it’s easy to feel helpless in the face of a disease whose cure is yet to be found. What else can we do about COVID-19 aside from keeping ourselves and those close to us safe, while waiting for a cure? Well, you might not be as helpless as you think: if you’ve got a PC and an internet connection, you already have everything you need to contribute to COVID-19 research, through the Folding@home project.
Folding@home is a distributed computing project from Pande Labs created to aid in the research of the process of protein folding, which is how the proteins in our bodies fold into three-dimensional forms in order to perform their functions. Folding@home currently aids in searching for a cure for Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease as well as several forms of cancer.
The main component of the Folding@home project is its distributed computing technology, which allows users with personal computers to lend their processing units’ idle power to receive data from F@h, process said data, and then send back the processed data to F@h. Instead of researchers and scientists having to rely on the processing power of their own computers, no matter how powerful, F@h lets them borrow the power of the consumer PCs of everyday folk who sign up for F@h.
Folding@home works by creating statistical simulations of the protein folding process, which shows how proteins fold into their final three-dimensional form. Diseases and disorders are brought about when proteins in the body misfold and begin to behave differently from correctly folded proteins. By simulating the process of protein folding, researchers are able to see how both correctly folded and misfolded proteins occur, thus giving them more knowledge as to how a misfold or a disease may be treated and prevented.
The process of protein folding is still a relative unknown in the science world, which is why the power of hundreds of thousands of computers would be a great help in discovering just how it works. Through millions of simulations and countless hours of research, F@h have made small breakthroughs over the years, all of which can be found on their official website and Wikipedia page.
Now that you know all the basics of Folding@home, here’s how you can help.
You can sign up for Folding@home at their official website, and download a 77 mb installer which allows for F@h to make use of your computer’s idle power to create protein folding simulations. You can see the progress of your simulations on the web page that opens upon installation of F@h. You can also watch the protein folding simulation live on the FAHViewer program that comes with the installer.
You can allot your processing power to aiding in COVID-19 research by choosing “Any disease” from the drop-down menu of research to support. Of course, once a resolution comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can allot processing power to aiding in researching the Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as cancer. It’s as simple as installing, choosing the research you want to support, and letting the program do its work as you continue your everyday computer use. From that point, you can leave it all up to the experts to make sense of our simulations.
While I won’t pretend that I understand all the science and computing that goes on in the Folding@home project, there’s nothing to lose in lending a little bit of our PCs’ processing power to aid in a greater cause. COVID-19 is now a pandemic, and even the smallest contribution could lead to a breakthrough in helping find a cure for it. Signing up for F@h is a bit like contributing to bridge construction in Death Stranding, or giving Son Goku some of your energy so he can create a Spirit Bomb strong enough to beat Frieza–it’s sure to be of benefit to everyone, if everyone can pitch in.
Our Privacy Commitment
TV5 Network Inc. values and respects your right to privacy. We are committed to safeguarding your personal data in compliance with Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Why do we collect your personal information (as applicable)?
We collect and maintain basic information about you as users of TV5 sites for the following purposes:
Where do we get your personal information?
There are several ways we collect your personal information.
Information that you personally provided.
Most of the personal information we have are those that you have provided us when you:
Information we collect during your engagement with us
We also collect information as you use our products and services, like:
Information we collect from other sources
We also collect your personal information through other activities such as our market research initiatives, when you visit and use our websites and mobile apps, and from our subsidiaries, affiliates, and third-party business partners to whom you have given consent to share your information to us.
When do we disclose personal information?
There are circumstances when we are required to share some of the information you have provided us. In these cases, we ensure that your personal information will be disclosed on a confidential manner, through secure channels that is in compliance with the Data Privacy Act and other privacy laws.
In some instances, we may be required to disclose your personal information to our agents, subsidiaries, affiliates, business partners and other third-party agencies and service providers as part of our regular business operations and for the provision of our programs and services. This means we might share your information with:
How we protect your personal information
We also put in effect the following safeguards:
TV5 will not collect, use, or disclose your personal information for any purpose other than those identified in this Commitment, your Service Agreement or our Terms of Service, and any other purpose that you may have given your consent for.
For greater clarity, unless you provide specific consent, we shall not:
What are your choices?
You are given certain rights in relation to your personal data under the Data Privacy Act. We would like to ensure that we have your consent to continue to collect, use, and disclose your personal information for the purposes that we have identified. We want you to know that you do have choices and can object or withdraw your consent and/or edit your consent preferences at any time.
If you wish to have access to your personal information in our records; or you think that such personal information we have of you is incomplete, not up-to-date, or otherwise inaccurate, you may get in touch with our Data Privacy Officer through the contact details provided below. In some instances, we may request for supporting documents or proof before we effect any requested changes to your personal information.
Data Protection Officer
TV5 Network Inc.
Reliance corner Sheridan Streets
What happens when there are changes in our Policy?
You will always be provided notice if these changes are significant and, if we are required by law, we will ensure to obtain your updated consent.