We are all aware of the current threat we face from the coronavirus also known as COVID-19. But other than preventative measures that we can individually take such as washing our hands, working from home (if possible) and avoiding public places, how do we help in finding a vaccine or a cure?
It can feel frustrating that we wish we could do more to help the many people suffering from this awful disease, but not all of us have millions that we can throw into research to help find a cure. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could find a way to help that doesn't cost us any money, and doesn't take much of our time?
The great news is that there is a way for all of us to help speed up research into the Coronavirus, and we don't have to spend any money to do it.
By downloading and joining BOINC
What is BOINC?
BOINC lets you help cutting-edge science research by using your computer (Windows, Mac, Linux) or Android device. BOINC downloads scientific computing jobs to your computer and runs them invisibly in the background. It's easy and safe.BOINC is an application that was created at Berkley by Dr David Anderson. It was originally created to support SETI in its search for extraterrestrial radio signals. It's since expanded to include all kinds of scientific research and problem-solving. Organisations can create a team where they can encourage people to join their team page. As your computer solves problems on the different BOINC projects, you earn credit for the work you do. As a team, the credit is combined, where you are competing against other teams to see who can have the most credit. It is a good way to encourage friendly competition while also finding cures for diseases such as HIV, Cancer, Malaria etc.BOINC has a public awareness issue where many people that would love to support the different projects, do not know about it.Join us and help speed up medical research for free.
Why would I want to install BOINC?
To help make the world a better place. People want to help make the world a better place, but it needs to be super easy. This is the easiest thing you could ever do to help make the world a better place. The more people that join, the faster we can find cures for HIV, Cancer, Alzheimer's, and many more diseases. Hypothetically, if a scientist needs to solve a problem, such as finding a new drug to treat a disease. It could take him 100 years to run the simulation on his personal computer. By putting the simulation on BOINC it allows him to share the workload with other volunteers.
If you have 2 volunteers, it will only take 50 years
If you have 4 volunteers, it will only take 25 years
If you have 8 volunteers, it will only take 12 and a half years
If you have 16 volunteers, it will only take 6 and a quarter years
If you have 32 volunteers, it will only take 3.1 years
If you have 64 volunteers, it will only take 1.6 years
If you have 128 volunteers, it will only take 9.4 months
This is an oversimplified example, but the end goal is the same. The more people supporting BOINC, the faster we will find cures for diseases and solve other scientific problems.
Where can we do it?
BOINC is something you can do from the comfort of your own home. You don’t need to travel anywhere to take part. You can even encourage your friends to join up from the comfort of their homes as well.
Who benefits? Who Takes Part?
Anyone, anywhere on the planet can take part as long as they have a computer and an internet connection.We all benefit. The whole of humanity benefits from finding cures and solving scientific problems that we don’t yet know how to solve. Sometimes you might see some scientific research in areas that might seem silly to us, for example, fruit fly research. It might seem like “how can fruit fly research benefits humanity?” But often the scientific problem that we are solving might not be so obvious to us in how it benefits humanity. Fruit fly research is actually helping scientists understand how genetic diseases are passed on from one generation to another and helps them understand how this happens in humans. By understanding it, it can lead to a way to prevent a genetic disease from being passed from parents to children. Genetic diseases you might have heard of include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia and Huntington's disease.
We can have a simplified view of science. For example, why didn’t someone just build a television? Why would they waste time experimenting with the electromagnetic spectrum? Without basic research into the electromagnetic spectrum, we wouldn’t have discovered radio waves. Without radio waves, we wouldn’t have had the means to transmit images to a television in your house. One of the projects on BOINC might not seem as obvious in how it benefits humanity, much like how someone might not understand how the study of the electromagnetic spectrum was vital in laying the foundation for the creation of the television. There may be projects on here that don’t seem obvious to how it might benefit humanity, but it doesn’t mean you should only focus on the medical projects like Rosetta@home, as another project might have an unforeseeable benefit to humanity that we aren’t currently aware of.
When can I join?
You can join right now.
HOW TO HELP FOR FREE DOWNLOAD BOINC Download BOINC here: https://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php INSTALL BOINC After downloading BOINC you must install it: typically this means double-clicking on the file icon when the download is finished.
JOIN A PROJECT When you first run BOINC, you will be asked to choose a project. You can view the list of projects here: https://boinc.berkeley.edu/projects.phpIf you have no preference and want to support all science projects you can Join Science United here: https://scienceunited.org/Science United means, among other things that new projects can get computing power without having to recruit new volunteers.
But which project will help with researching the Coronvirus you ask?
Rosetta@home is working hard to research the Coronavirus, but they need your help by volunteering your computers spare computing power to help them find cures and treatments faster.
JOIN OUR TEAM You can join our charities' team. We have a team on each project. You can see us on Rosetta@home here: https://boinc.bakerlab.org/rosetta/team_display.php?teamid=13608
What is Rosetta@home?
Rosetta@home needs your help to determine the 3-dimensional shapes of proteins in research that may ultimately lead to finding cures for some major human diseases. By running the Rosetta program on your computer while you don't need it you will help speed up and extend research in ways that couldn't possibly attempt without your help. You will also be helping their efforts at designing new proteins to fight diseases such as HIV, Malaria, Cancer, and Alzheimer's.