More and more we hear that for a good's night sleep, we should keep our smartphones out of the bedroom, but that doesn't mean the phones have to rest too. While you're getting your beauty sleep, your plugged in smartphone could be helping to solve some of our greatest scientific puzzles.
A new Android app developed by Samsung Austria and researchers at the University of Vienna called Power Sleep uses your phone's processing power to perform scientific research while you sleep. When the app's alarm is set and your phone is plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi, the app processes data sent from the Similarity Matrix of Proteins (SIMAP) database where it will decipher protein sequences in order to further medical advancements in areas like genetics and heredity, biochemistry, molecular biology and cancer research.
"In order to fight diseases like cancer and Alzheimers, we need to know how proteins are arranged," says Thomas Rattei, professor of bioinformatics at the University of Vienna. "This requires trials that need a tremendous amount of processing power. Power Sleep is a bridge between science and society. It promotes not only our research, but allows people in Austria to become part of the project and, at the same time, to do good in their sleep."
The app is connected to Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), which connects computers around the globe for the purpose of processing scientific data. With Power Sleep, that network now includes mobile devices.
You can download the app for free from the Google Play Store.