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The forthcoming PlayStation 3 (PS3) will be able to connect with a university medical research application and help it to analyse data, it has been announced.
Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) said that the console will have the ability to link with the Folding@home project at Stanford University, which attempts to decipher protein folding, misfolding and other such diseases.
The project utilises a network of computers to analyse data and perform complicated simulations, which can take up to 30 years for one machine to do.
However, the PS3's Cell Broadband Engine can run about ten times faster than the normal chips inside standard PCs, allowing the simulations to be completed more quickly.
'With PS3 now part of our network, we will be able to address questions previously considered impossible to tackle computationally, with the goal of finding cures to some of the world's most life-threatening diseases,' commented Vijay Pande, associate professor of chemistry at Stanford University and Folding@home project leader.
The PS3 is set to launch in Europe on March 23rd. It is already available to players in the US and Japan.