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Konica Minolta to Support COVID-19 Studies with High-End Personal Computers at Planetarium in Tokyo during Closure
Supporting Rosetta@home Project through Distributed Computing

Tokyo (May 20, 2020) – Konica Minolta Planetarium Co., Ltd. (Konica Minolta) extends its sincere condolences to those who passed away in the spread of the novel coronavirus worldwide, expresses heartfelt sympathy of the whole company to the affected people and prays for swift recovery. The company also expresses its sincere respect to the governments and local communities that work on the frontline to prevent the spread of infections, as well as healthcare professionals who are dedicated to diagnosing and treating people through the difficult time.

24 high-end PCs at Konica Minolta PLANETARIA TOKYO (PLANETARIA TOKYO) are going to be used to participate in distributed computing in the important Rosseta@home project for COVID-19 studies, during the planetarium’s temporary closure.

About Rosetta@home Projects

Rosetta@home Project from the University of Washington, U.S., uses distributed computing, which connects a number of computers to create virtual supercomputers. The project aims to use volunteer networked PCs around the world to model COVID-19 chromosome and predict their three-dimensional shapes. Knowledge from these studies of viral proteins is used to guide the design of new vaccines and antiviral drugs. It will also help design new proteins to fight against diseases such as HIV, malaria, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.

Background

During the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan, the three planetariums operated by Konica Minolta have been temporarily closed since February 29 to ensure safety and security for customers and employees, reducing the risks of spread of infection. PLANETARIA TOKYO, one of the facilities and the newest, has the multiplayer virtual reality (VR) attraction VirtuaLink, for which 24 high performance PCs have been installed to accommodate real time VR experience. Currently all these PCs have not been in use due to the closure.
Konica Minolta has decided to support the Rosetta@home project for COVID-19 research by connecting the dormant PCs which can be used by research institutions for distributed computing calculations.

About PLANETARIA TOKYO

PLANETARIA TOKYO is a multi-theater planetarium with two domes, the VR attraction, cafe and shop.

Address

9th floor of Yurakucho Mullion, 2-5-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

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The Konica Minolta Group will continue to look into ways and provide support for communities and people on the frontline of COVID-19.