According to Canada.com, the PS3's distributed computing project, [email protected], has been recognized by the Guinness World Records as the "most powerful distributed network in the world." For those of you who don't know, this is something any PS3 user can do simply by downloading the program and letting the PS3 run. [email protected] uses a potent combination of PS3s and PCs to "fold" or analyze how protein models assemble themselves. This began with researchers at Stanford University and has become quite the phenomenon.

The endeavor has lofty ambitions; they hope to find links between currently incurable diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and certain forms of cancer.

“To have [email protected] recognized by Guinness World Records as the most powerful distributed computing network ever is a reflection of the extraordinary worldwide participation by gamers and consumers around the world and for that we are very grateful,” said Vijay Pande, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University. “Without them we would not be able to make the advancements we have made in our studies of several different diseases. But it is clear that none of this would be even remotely possible without the power of PS3, it has increased our research capabilities by leaps and bounds.”

We've heard this before, but it's always good to hear. The age of video game consoles being only good for video games is long gone, and it's clear that this system's uses can stretch far beyond the realm of entertainment. The sheer power of the PlayStation 3 is often recognized, but to be instrumental in work that could save lives is staggering, to say the least. No, it may not yield anything, but it's still a noble quest, yes?

“To have PS3 play such a large role in allowing [email protected] to be honored by Guinness World Records is truly incredible,” said Masayuki Chatani, CTO at SCE. “This record is clear evidence of the power of PS3 and the contributions that it is making to the [email protected] network, and more importantly, scientific research.”

The latest numbers say that PlayStation 3 owners account for more than 60% of the network's total processing output. And the number of PS3 owners who have volunteered their console's time is also pretty unbelievable: 670,000 unique owners have already participated in [email protected], and that brings the total power of the network to over a petaflop of processing power. Yes, a petaflop. No wonder Guinness had to recognize it!

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