While it might not sound as fun as bashing in an opponents face with a well placed move in Virtua Fighter 5, the Cell CPU at the heart of each and every PS3 can also be put to use helping researchers understand diseases such as various forms of cancer, Alzheimer's & even Parkinson's disease.
Due to the highly parallel nature of the research project and the aptitude of the Cell CPU for such tasks, it isn't very hard to figure out just why the project supervisors are giving the PS3 such praise:
"The recent inclusion of PS3 as part of the Folding@home program has afforded our research group with computing power that goes far beyond what we initially hoped," said Vijay Pande, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and Folding@home project lead. "Thanks to PS3, we are now essentially able to fast-forward several aspects of our research by a decade, which will greatly help us make more discoveries and advancements in our studies of several different diseases."
"When we introduced PS3, we knew its incredible processing power would allow for a great deal of innovation and creativity," said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of SCEA. "It's extremely rewarding to see that the scientific community has found a way to harness PS3 technology for humanitarian purposes and we continue to be amazed at what gamers and the Folding@home community have been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time."
We here at HH would like to thank each and every person who has donated their CPU cycles to the project. We're confident that a better understanding of the causes of these diseases will contribute to better treatments and hopefully cures.