I don’t mean to alarm you, but…actually screw it I do want to make you sweat bullets. Chances are that by the end of this year, someone you know will have died because of the Coronavirus. Not directly, but probably because your associate bought into fear-inducing fake news and decided to down an entire bottle of bleach so that they could render their bodies immune to the Coronavirus. They’re technically right, because nothing is more immune to disease than being dead.
The COVID-19 strain of the Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the world so far, and scientists reckon that due to a perfect storm combo of bureaucratic idiocy, public panic and con artists peddling snake oil, the spread of the virus is only going to get worse before it gets better. Unity is needed more than ever, and while a new habit of washing your hands thoroughly before you press flesh with strangers is recommended, there is a better way to fight back against the virus.
Harking back to 2008, a video game by the name of Foldit has updated its puzzle mechanics and started a new crowdsourced initiative where your efforts help researchers learn more about COVID-19. “Coronaviruses display a ‘spike’ protein on their surface, which binds tightly to a receptor protein found on the surface of human cells,” the puzzle’s description explained (Cheers Eurogamer).
In recent weeks, researchers have determined the structure of the 2019 coronavirus spike protein and how it binds to human receptors. If we can design a protein that binds to this coronavirus spike protein, it could be used to block the interaction with human cells and halt infection!
Which basically translates to all your grunt work helping to provide accurate models for research as people are better than computers at “folding long chains of amino acids into compact three-dimensional shapes”. Now that’s using the power of the cloud for something better than BitCoin mining. It’s just one of many initiatives being used to fight back against the Coronavirus, contagious death which so far has taken over 3000 lives and has elderly people and folks with poor immune systems in its sights.
Last Updated: March 4, 2020