Jordan Planetarium visualization cluster used for COVID-19 research

Our own Emera Astronomy Center‘s Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium is being put to work for COVID-19 research while the Planetarium is closed to the public during the pandemic.

The Jordan Planetarium is the second planetarium in the nation to join an innovative platform operated by the University of California, Berkeley, called the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), funded by the National Science Foundation. BOINC researchers are accessing the visualization computer cluster – the most advanced in Maine – for use in the critical Rosetta@home project from the University of Washington.  This project uses the computer clusters to predict the structure of proteins important to the disease, as well as to produce new, stable mini-proteins to be used as potential therapeutics and diagnostics.  The Emera Center’s Director, Shawn Laatsch, found out about the possibility of the BOINC project through his role as an officer in the International Planetarium Society.


See the UMaine News story here.

See the story in the Bangor Daily News here.

See the story from News Center Maine, including an interview with Shawn Laatsch, here.

See a secondary story from I-95, (Bangor’s Classic Rock Station) here.  Fun commentary.