A distributed computing project called [email protected] has suddenly risen to the height of the world’s fastest supercomputer, and beyond, as more people join the fight to find a cure for Covid-19. It’s now cranking out 470 petaflops of number-crunching performance.

Like other distributed computing projects, [email protected] draws on the collective power of the people and their individual PCs. By itself, your PC doesn’t offer enough computing power to tackle many types of advanced research and simulations—in this case, simulating the behavior of protein structures by folding protein chains into new shapes that change their function—but when hundreds of thousands of people contribute, projects like this suddenly become a real force.

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