The PS3 may soon be saving lives

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. announced today that PS3s will soon be able to connect to Stanford University's Folding@home program, which will use the combined power of thousands of consoles to run simulations of protein folding. These simulations may help researchers understand the causes of some diseases, like Alzheimer's, cystic fibrosis, Parkinson's, and numerous cancers. That's right: the PS3 may one day help cure cancer.

The process of folding proteins is so complex that even a supercomputer can't simulateit efficiently. PCs have been combined to do similar research, but because the Cell processor is about ten times faster than an average PC, unprecedented speed in research will now be possible.

Above: The power to cure cancer, in your hands?

Expect the Folding@home icon to appear on your PS3's Network menu at the end of March. You can activate the program by simply clicking on the icon or you can set the application to run automatically when the PS3 is idle.

March 15, 2007