Rosetta@home works using distributed computing to research three-dimension shapes of proteins that may ultimately lead to finding cure for some major human diseases.
Distributed computing allows a large computational challenge such as building protein models to be broken down into small work units, the computing power is donated by indiviuals and organisations to create a computation force well beyond any supercomputer and without the cost of a huge datacenter.
Our offices rely on electric heaters during the winter months to keep the temperature high enough for our machinery and staff. During these months we decided to plug in some old computers and have them running BOINC (the software that Rosetta@home runs on), the computers produce heat as a by-product of the computations which means the heaters don't have to be used as much.
The end result is that the same amount of electricity is used to heat our offices either way, but by utilising computers that would otherwise be scrap metal we get the added benefit of contributing to scientific research that benefits the human race.
We utilise Grid Republic to manage the computers we have running these computational projects, which allows us to see the progress of all computers from a single dashboard. Grid Republic also enables us to enable/disable different research projects in a single place.
Statistics on our contributions can be seen on BOINC Combined Statistics.