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Sure joins fight against covid

Sure joins fight against covid

Monday 11 May 2020

Sure joins fight against covid

Monday 11 May 2020

Sure has given a number of servers a new lease of life, dedicating them to the fight against corona virus via an online project, run by Stanford University.

Folding@home is a crowd sourced supercomputer carrying out covid-19 protein sequencing, in an attempt to better understand the virus.

Viruses use proteins to suppress immune systems and reproduce themselves.

While there are many experimental methods for determining viral protein structures, they only reveal a single snapshot of a protein's usual shape and don't consider that proteins have lots of moving parts. The protein structures that scientists are unable to see experimentally may be the key to discovering a cure to the virus.

With calculations suggesting a corona virus vaccine could take around 18 months to develop, Sure has dedicated some physical servers to the Folding@home software, which runs computer simulations to better understand the composition of viral proteins.

"As a group, we have been working hard to support the community and keep people connected during the corona virus outbreak," said Security Architect at Sure, Scott Kenyon. "Using some spare server capacity to assist the Folding@home initiative is our way of contributing to the wider fight against corona virus and we have been running the software for over a month.

"Each simulation that you run is like buying a lottery ticket. The more tickets we buy, the better our chances of hitting the jackpot. For this reason, we have been talking to our engineers to see how we can run as many computer simulations as possible across the group and we would like to encourage the Guernsey community to download the Folding@home software and join the fight."

People in Guernsey can take part in the initiative by downloading the Folding@home software onto their computer. It can be found on the Folding@home website and works in the background or when the computer is idle.

The software gives the option to be part of a team and encourages users to rack up simulations together. Sure has created its own team which users can join by adding the number 256994 when installing the software.

"We're looking forward to seeing the island get involved with Folding@home and hope that by creating a team, the community can feel as though they are doing their part in the pandemic," added Sure Engineer, Ryan Bourgaize.

"We're proud to support this initiative as it's our way of assisting by Microsoft Azure's Chief Technology Officer, Mark Russinovich, who recently tweeted that they too have contributed some computers."

Pictured top: The Sure server rack.

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