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Marion IT academy, esports team up against COVID-19

(photo courtesy of Marion Community Schools)

MARION, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Marion Regional Career Center and Marion Community Schools are teaming up in the fight against COVID-19. The center’s information technology and cybersecurity academy and the district’s esports program have linked their computer systems to develop a supercomputer, capable of searching for COVID-19 treatments through the Folding@home program.

The partners say the link between Marion’s esports computers and Folding@home enables the supercomputer to perform complex medical calculations and simulations. The simulations involve protein folding and allows others to run simulations of protein dynamics from personal computers.

“Our practices and competitions have been moved to a remote platform, and this allows our advanced technology resources in the arena to be used to find possible treatments and even vaccines. It is important to note that all these systems are set up remotely and no one physically will be in the arena when these processes are occurring,” said Travis Hueston, MRCC instructor and esports head coach.

The supercomputer will be used to help understand how proteins in viruses suppress a person’s immune system and how they reproduce. By learning how these proteins work, the group says medical professionals can then design therapeutics to stop them.

Butler University also announced a partnership with Folding@home to use its supercomputer and esports program computers as part of the project.