Finally getting the street cred that its creators have so long desired, the multi-platform, distributed computing network known as Folding@Home is to be recognized by Guinness World Records. According to the group, the network is now the most powerful distributed computing cluster in the world. The system, which utilizes the power of more than 670,000 PS3s, PCs, and lawnmower motors to crunch data, has overall computational capabilities greater than a petaflop (which is a ton of flops). The linked consoles tackle a number of tasks, and scientists harnessing the network’s power are able to study complex medical problems — such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s — much more quickly. Vijay Pande, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and head of the Folding@home project says, “Without them [the Folding@Home users] we would not be able to make the advancements we have made in our studies of several different diseases.” Now that Guinness has recognized the system, it can proudly stand next to luminaries such as the man with the longest fingernails, and fastest land animal.
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