Help fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19) with your Mac

About the [email protected] Project

[email protected] is a distributed computing project — it harnesses the spare processing power of volunteers’ computers all around the world to help research and fight diseases. By sending parts of a protein or molecular problem out to volunteers’ computers for processing, [email protected] has in-effect one of the largest supercomputers in the world devoted to medical problems.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) was just added to the list of diseases that [email protected] is working on: these include Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s.

Volunteers can download a free “client program” for Mac, Linux, and Windows, install it, then leave it running in the background while they work on other tasks. The [email protected] client program will download and work on a protein or molecular problem. Completed results are then returned to [email protected], which will combine calculation results from other volunteers’ computers to form a solution to the protein or molecular problem. Volunteers’ computers are then sent the next protein or molecular problem to work through.

Click an image to see it larger.

The Web-based controller is simple and graphical.
The Web-based controller is simple and graphical.

The Folding@home client program has more complete project information and preference settings.
The [email protected] client program has more complete project information and preference settings.

The supplementary FAHVewer program shows the protein or molecule being worked on.
The supplementary FAHVewer program shows the protein or molecule being worked on.

How to Run [email protected] on your Mac

The basics of how to set up the [email protected] client program are explained in a MacRumors story (its easy,) and Windows and Linux versions work in a similar way.

As MacRumors explains, be sure the “Cause” Preference is set to “Any” in order to receive Coronavirus tasks to process (which is the default setting.) Please keep in mind that the “Any” setting will also assign other “high-priority” projects to client programs in addition to Coronavirus-related ones.

Please note that the [email protected] client does not use the Mac’s Graphical Processor Unit (GPU) because of processor library incompatibility reasons. The Mac’s standard Central Processing Unit (CPU) will be used instead.

So many people have joined in [email protected], that the project’s servers are struggling to keep up. Keep your [email protected] client running, and it will eventually be sent more work to calculate through.

More Information

Here are helpful links for [email protected] — these open in a new window or tab.
This page was written by Michael Blank, and has content he originally wrote in a forum post elsewhere.
Updated 3/26/20

Return Home