Who says video games aren't good for anything?

Right this minute, the technology used in our fancy interactive entertainment experiences is helping researchers do important stuff…you know, like search for cures to cancer and other deadly diseases.

According to an article at E! Science News , biophysicist and computer scientist Samuel Cho is currently using graphics processing units (GPUs) in his lab at Wake Forest University. The purpose? "To simulate the inner workings of Human cells." Duh. We all knew that, right?

The interesting part is that gamers sort of made such technology more accessible because a lot of people bought it; hence, the cost of that tech has fallen. "If it wasn't for gamers who kept buying these GPUs, the prices would've have dropped, and we couldn't have used them for science," said Cho. And now that he has a closer look at how cells live, divide and die, this "opens up possibilities for new targets for tumor-killing drugs." Involved in Cho's work is the human telomerase enzyme, which is only found in cancerous cells:

"The cell keeps reproducing over and over, and that's the very definition of cancer. By knowing how telomerase folds and functions, we provide a new area for researching cancer treatments."

A new drug would stop this enzyme from adding onto the DNA, so the cell dies. Cho is also starting to focus on video game technology for working with the bacterial ribosome, "a molecular system 200 times larger than the human telomerase enzyme RNA molecule." His team is starting to use graphics cards to perform cell simulations, and it's a lot faster than basic computing. Finished Cho:

"We have hijacked this technology to perform simulations very, very quickly on much larger biomolecular systems."

I freakin' hated Biology. …but this is cool.

— Kudos to BikerSaint for the tip.

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WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

The Playstation 9 will be an injection of Nanobots that make their way into your brain and deliver game experiences directly.

Qubex
Qubex
9 years ago

Lol World! That is way cool though!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

It's true, I know a guy who knows a guy who is working on it at Area 51 🙂

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Yeah, anything that helps put our gaming in a better light is always considered as newsworthy to me.

BTW John, thanks for the tip credit.

wolfsinner
wolfsinner
9 years ago

It's pleasing to know that we helped cancer research in some way.

…and good thing I never took Biology.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Holy crap, Samanosuke from Onimusha =p

wolfsinner
wolfsinner
9 years ago

Ha! I guess he kind of looks like Samanosuke.

It's actually Serizawa (Takayuki Yamada) from Crows Zero.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Cool, and here I thought that was a picture of you =)

wolfsinner
wolfsinner
9 years ago

My official seal of badass-ness expired a long time ago I'm afraid.

___________
___________
9 years ago

got nothing to do with games!
that argument is silly, if gamers did not buy GPUs as much as they change their underpants they would of gone down the drain!
what ive never been able to understand is WTFs the point of new cards if theres no games taking advantage of them?
any game out now you can run on a single 580, so lets say the future kepler series Nvidias suppose to release in may.
why do we need them when their lesser cards are already overkill?
why use a crane to pick up a spoon?

wolfsinner
wolfsinner
9 years ago

Not sure if trolling, or just silly.

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
9 years ago

The 'Life with Playstation' application on the PS3 does the same thing, except we're directly contributing. I use it every night when I go to bed (leave it on for on hour and set it to turn off after an hour).

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
9 years ago

ahh so thats what that is i always see you on it but never really knew what it was. i think i'll start doing that to L

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
9 years ago

You should – you get like this big globe you can turn to make you feel like god and then you can like check the news and everything. Oh and you can listein to music too, so you can listein to a bit of queen while your curing cancer. Good stuff xD

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
9 years ago

that sounds awesome i've always wanted to be god 😛