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Making use of your computer's idle time to support medical research

December 21, 2017

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… the season for giving and sharing.


At HTEC we have always valued opportunities to share with the community; we support charity donations, host awards and contribute to technological advances. We have immense computing capacity in our data-centre: we process billions of loyalty, payment and stock file transactions every year – but every computer has idle time.


So the tech experts in our data-centre suggested we take part in folding@home to make use of our computer power during its idle time. This doesn’t impact on our customer services.


So, what is Folding@Home? Folding@Home is a project focused on disease research that requires thousands of computer calculations to help find cures to these.  


We all have proteins within our body which fold into three dimensional structures, essential to the functions of our body. When these folding processes go wrong it can have serious implications on people’s health, causing cancer, Alzheimers, Huntington Disease, Parkinson’s, Cystic Fibrosis,  amongst others.


The software feeds pieces of simulations to volunteer computers to complete and then these are returned to the project’s database servers – all with the aim of examining the causes of protein misfolding. The research is shared across various scientific institutions and laboratories across the world to better understand the complex nature of proteins.


The project also has a healthy competitive edge across its volunteers. You can start teams and be ranked across its teams worldwide – competing against the likes of Google and Intel. HTEC have been volunteering since 2012 and have since processed over 27,000 of the simulations – ranking us 847th in the world. Our processes look something like this:


This amazing project is looking to reach a goal of 1 million folders! If you have a smartphone, desktop, tablet, you can just download the software and take part!

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HTEC Limited is the wholly owned subsidiary of Universe Group plc, a company registered in England and Wales at the same address with registration number 2639726.

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