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Future thinking is a luxury. Only once you’ve achieved Physiological and Safety Needs on Maslow’s Hierarchy, can you then get back to dreaming and pondering the future.

That’s the conclusion that the Inevitable/Human team has come to during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

We felt that as future-thinkers, the best foresight we could practice was in contributing our resources to those that are working toward medicinal solutions.

That’s why we’re redirecting our computing resources to folding COVID-19 proteins. What in the world does that mean?

Proteins are molecular machines that perform many functions we associate with life. They sense the environment (e.g. in taste and smell), perform work (e.g. muscle contraction and breaking down food), and play structural roles (e.g. your hair). They are made of a linear chain of chemicals called amino acids that, in many cases, spontaneously “fold” into compact, functional structures. Much like any other machine, it’s how a protein’s components are arranged and move that determine the protein’s function.

Viruses also have proteins that they use to suppress our immune systems and reproduce themselves.

To help tackle coronavirus, we want to understand how these viral proteins work and how we can design therapeutics to stop them.

Folding@Home

Following the lead of Cheap DFW (a company that uses machine learning to scour the web for the cheapest flights out of Dallas), we’re letting Folding@Home use our idle CPU to run simulations on the dynamics of COVID-19 proteins to hunt for therapeutic opportunities.

Our computing systems are added to a distributed network of computers and all those computers collaborate on projects concerning coronaviruses.

The initial round of projects focuses on better understanding how these coronaviruses interact with the human ACE2 receptor required for viral entry.

Ren Artemio

From now until we’ve found viable therapies, our CPU will be running simulations nonstop with this entire network of computers. In the words of Folding@Home:

Each simulation you run is like buying a lottery ticket. The more tickets we buy, the better our chances of hitting the jackpot.

Are you inspired and want to contribute your idle CPU too? Follow these steps:

  • If you have a Linux, Windows, or Mac PC – Download the Folding@Home client.
  • Set your client to “I support research fighting Any Disease”. This setting will automatically download either the COVID-19 jobs slices that need calculation or the jobs for various cancer studies.
  • Enter in a “Name” for your client. It doesn’t have to be a real name. We’re using the “Escape Flights” name for our folding clients, but you should name your clients to whatever you want.
  • If you want; you can join our “Escape Flights” folding team by entering “240037” in the “Team Name”.
  • It may take about 5-minutes for it to contact the server and download the first job.
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