PS3 News: PlayStation 3 and Wii Helping Scientists, Doctors, Patients - PS3 News

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PlayStation 3 and Wii Helping Scientists, Doctors, Patients

   As if Folding@home wasn't enough, the next time you hear someone belittling videogame consoles such as the PlayStation 3, and even the Nintendo Wii, feel free to share this enlightening news bit. The New Scientists reports that researchers, chemists, physicists, among other scientists all around the world are using the PlayStation 3 as a means of simulating various events - be it intergalactic or pharmaceutical.

   An Astrophysicist from the University of Massachusetts, Gaurav Khanna, has linked 16 PlayStation 3's, running the PS3 enabled Linux OS, in order to simulate the occurance of gravity waves when two black holes collide. Sounds nutty, doesn't it?

   Utilizing standard C-language executions, Todd Martinez, chemist at the University of Illinois states that one PlayStation 3 can perform calculations for him 130 times faster than an ordinary PC can. "We can now do the things we were killing ourselves to do," Martinez said. Martinez is calculating the energy of the electrons in 1,000 atoms - the equivalent of a small protein.

   More over, surgeons are using the Nintendo Wii remote as a tool to hone their surgical skills with. Think of it as a much more simulated game of Operation, minus the obnoxious buzzing noise when you touch the borders. Additionally, they also use the Wiimote as a means of gaging deficiencies in a patient - those, in particular who've suffered strokes or have Parkinson's disease.

   As many of you know may know, the PlayStation 3 makes this kind of work possible thanks to the immensely powerful Cell CPU. The Nintendo Wii Remote, on the other hand, features an accelerometer that senses the direction and speed that it's being moved at.

   Videogames are still toys, eh?

2/13/2008 Arnold Katayev

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (5 posts)

Warukyure [Power User]
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 @ 6:27:20 PM

Too bad Sony or the folding@home group doesn't give like PSN Cash/dollars for contribution milestones. It would probably influence more people to help out and at the same time probably be able to get some free swag from PSN.

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 @ 6:29:01 PM

Hahaha, they'd probably get left dead broke, though. :P

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008 @ 7:06:39 PM

mmmm, free DLC for leaving my PS3 on for a few nights... LOL! For the cost of electricity alone, that would be fair! It is quite a donation. Adding cost of power plus system wear and tear. Good thing my PS3 isn't gas powered, I'd be screwed!

Second note, I love how the XBOX360 isn't included! Perhaps we can run simulations to send Microsoft on building a system that doesn't have a 33% failure rate, and how to properly report sales figures that do not include replacements.

Lastly, nice to see some good uses for these systems, perhaps the child-men of the world can now sit back and have a little laugh thinking "hey, we might play games, but we were using these to play our games long before you wacky scientists realized how amazing they are for your research!"

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Thursday, February 14, 2008 @ 6:01:11 PM

That would be funny if an article was headed 'PS3's used to detect potential future failure rates in 360's'

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008 @ 9:15:10 PM

It's nice to know that people are thinking of more and more ways to help people via video games/consoles.

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