A private school in Bahrain has joined the global fight to find a vaccine for COVID-19. The British School of Bahrain (BSB) is contributing to the Folding@home(FAH) project, which has recently become the biggest supercomputer on Earth. The BSB Senior School Deputy Head, Academic, Adrian White, initiated the ambitious idea of joining the project. 

“The world is working together to fight against COVID-19, and BSB is keen to do its part within the global struggle. We realised that distributed computing would significantly speed up the research for a vaccine for COVID-19 and so we felt we absolutely had to utilize BSB’s extensive campus-based computing power to fight coronavirus. We have over 300 computers on campus, which are not currently being used during the school’s physical closure, and realised that this is a great opportunity for BSB to contribute to FAH’s search for a new vaccine” said BSB’s Head of IT, Mahesh Maniyeri. 

BSB is using its powerful ICT suites to join the global distributing computing platform to help scientists and researchers understand how the protein that makes up the COVID-19 virus works. Proteins are the key component of the virus and understanding this part of it informs us how the virus functions. 

FAH performs molecular dynamic simulations of protein dynamics by using a virtualized supercomputer, which is an integration of thousands of computers worldwide. Researchers and scientists send tasks to the network of computers which run simulations and send the data back with their individual results. FAH has become one of the world’s largest supercomputers and this power is being used to great benefit in the search for a vaccine.

Executive Headmaster, John Maguire stated “The school has invested heavily in ICT over recent years and we are pleased that it can be used even when campuses are closed across Bahrain. Everyone must do their part, and I am very pleased that BSB is contributing to both the global and local communities.”