After taking the dogs out this morning and being far too awake for a Saturday morning than I should've been, I decided to fire up the PS3 and browse through Life With Playstation and Playstation Home, 2 things that never get any use. I discovered a nifty application in Folding@Home.
Folding@Home is a technology developed by Stanford University, which uses the new Cell processor of hundreds of thousands of PS3's all around the world to do calculations and simulations that used to only be possible on supercomputers. Folding@Home's area of focus is studying protein folding and protein folding diseases, which include Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's Disease, as well as some forms of cancer. Research for these diseases, especially cancer, isn't easy and anything we can do to help will go a long way, especially when all it takes is to turn on your PS3 when you're not using it.
Basically, the way it works is you start Life With Playstation and start the Folding@Home channel. Your PS3 then starts working as a "work unit". A complete "work unit" cycle will be anywhere from 6-8 hours; my first run took 6½ hours. Apparently you can leave the PS3 on 24/7 and it will continuously go through "work unit" cycles. I just might have a good reason to turn off power saving.