New Coronavirus cases are being reported every day and as more public places are closed down, it seems there isn’t any positive news on the horizon. However, people worldwide are working together to find a way to battle the virus and ultimately prevent it from spreading. Researchers, students, and even the average quarantined person are offering their assistance in budding projects that combine technology and teamwork to fight this pandemic.
Using Technology for the Common Good
Organizations worldwide have been supporting the efforts of scientists and researchers with funding, computing power, and general collaboration. Here are some of the solutions that are in progress according to several news sites.
The European Commission announced that any small businesses or startups that are developing technology that could fight COVID-19 should apply for fast-track funding. This new funding source is the European Innovation Council, an organization from the European Union that encourages the commercialization of high-risk and high impact technologies. Through this funding, 178 million U.S. dollars are now available for R&D. Any business working on treatment, testing, monitoring, and other aspects of COVID-19 are called to apply for this fast-track solution.
Verifying the Need for a Test
While many states have implemented drive-through Coronavirus testing, the lines are cut off after a certain point by police officers. The whole process is time consuming and causes congestion in the streets. A healthcare brand called Verily is trying to alleviate the stress of testing by helping people determine whether they need a test in the first place. This pilot program is currently available for Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties in California.
Verily’s website asks users about their recent health and travel and if necessary, helps them to obtain a free test. Overall, they are working to create a national website that provides information on symptoms of COVID-19, risks, and testing information.
Online Forums for Collaborative Work
Students, scientists, and healthcare professionals have been taking part in biology forums to help investigate potential vaccines and new testing methods. These forums are becoming a widespread tool in the DIY biology community, which were previously used in smaller niche groups.
An international online science coalition also called for its followers to develop solutions to the problems COVID-19 is posing. There has been an increase in involvement with 380 members from every continent except for Antarctica. Members communicate through a public messaging channel and weekly video and phone calls. Tools that track the spread of the virus and offer accessible ways to make masks and other devices to help patients breathe, have also come from this forum.
Connected Computers for a Cure
This connected solution allows people at home to aid in the effort to find a cure for the virus. A program known as [email protected] can be downloaded and installed on a computer to allow researchers to use your computer’s spare CPU and GPU cycles to work on the modeling of a medical cure. In order to develop an antibody to stop the infection of COVID-19, scientists need to understand the structure of the protein that can block the virus. That’s where digital modeling comes in. By using the speed of several computing systems, the organization can understand cell and protein reactions to create an appropriate antibody in a shorter time frame.
Staying Safe in the Digital World
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