Sixth former supports global search for coronavirus cure

The 18-year-old computer science student is supporting US research programme, Folding@home

An 18-year-old computer science student is supporting a US research programme that is playing a key role in searching for an effective coronavirus cure and treatment for other viral diseases.

Tristram Waters, a pupil at Bryanston School, is supporting a supercomputing initiative known as Folding@home, which is co-ordinated and managed by scientists at Stanford University in California.

It is being used to find out more about the viral proteins associated with the coronavirus to see how they work, how they suppress our immune systems and to help in the development of an effective treatment for the disease.

Whilst following online tutorials to help him build his own computer at home, Waters discovered the opportunity to offer the spare processing power of his new computer in support of Folding@home. Bryanston School is now also contributing spare computing capacity to boost the processing power of the initiative.

I’m really pleased I came across the Folding@home programme as it is playing a direct and vitally important role in helping us to overcome the current pandemic

Together, the combined processing capacity completed over 150 ‘work units’ for the programme in the first four days.

Waters said: “I’m really pleased I came across the Folding@home programme as it is playing a direct and vitally important role in helping us to overcome the current pandemic and I can provide tangible support without even leaving my home. And, the fact that Bryanston has now also made its spare processing available to the programme is great news.”

Andrew Barnes, director of technology at Bryanston School, said: “We were delighted to follow his lead as, in the current circumstances, much of our processing power was simply dormant.

“Now it is being put to good use and contributing to something that is not only worthwhile but is also at the cutting edge of medical research at the very time the world is looking for a scientific breakthrough to find an effective vaccine against a such a dreadful virus.”

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