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Folding@home racks up one million PS3 owners

Stanford University's project hits a milestone; project leader thanks PS3 users for lending their processing power to a good cause.


Launched on March 23, 2007, within firmware update 1.6 for the PlayStation 3, Folding@home allows idling PS3s to, among other things, try to find the cure for cancer.

The project is run by Stanford University in a similar way to the SETI@home project, which uses spare PC power to scour the heavens for extraterrestrial life. Folding@home studies the causes of various diseases, including Alzheimer's, cystic fibrosis, and various cancers. It can also be downloaded onto PCs, but the organisers have found that PS3 sales are boosting the project significantly.

Just three days after Folding@home became available on the PS3, 30,000 users had signed up for it, and by the end of April, the computing capacity for the project had more than doubled. Now, the number of PS3 users has surpassed one million--that's 3,000 a day signing up, or nearly two new users every minute worldwide.

The Folding@home project leader, Vijay Pande, said he was grateful for the participation of so many PS3 users. He commented, "Now that we have over one million PS3 users registered for Folding@home, [it will] allow us to address questions previously considered impossible to tackle computationally."

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