#WeAreHEWMEN Encourages Donation of Computer Processing to Find COVID-19 Treatment

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BALANCED Media | Technology and Complexity Gaming, one of North American’s longest standing esports organizations, have partnered together to announced #WeAreHEWMEN. #WeAreHEWMEN is a new citizen science/crowdsourcing effort that encourages the video game community to donate spare computer processing power to find treatments for COVID-19.

BALANCED, a crowdsourced healthcare artificial intelligence company, has launched the HEWMEN Cell application. It is a free secure download that creates a virtual network to process drug discovery data for the COVID-19 virus.

Complexity is urging the gaming community, including other esports teams, influencers, and video game companies, to support the effort by downloading the HEWMEN cell application.

HEWMEN, which stands for Humans Engaged With Machines via Elastic Network, creates a distributed network that processes data-driven problems, such as drug discovery and medical research. The HEWMEN Cell application uses small amounts of volunteer computers’ unused processing capacity.

The Cell application also has integrated BONIC, an open-source software platform used for volunteer resources that was developed by the University of California, Berkeley. BONIC allows for the virtualizing of servers and applications inside a voluntary grid network.

Most recently, before COVID-19, the HEWMEN Cell app was used by BALANCED and computational biologist John Wise, Ph.D., of Southern Methodist University’s Drug Discovery Lab, for finding co-medications to enhance the effect of chemotherapy in the treatment of recurrent, resistant breast and prostate cancers.

BALANCE, along with John Wise, are hoping to harness the power of the gaming community once again. However, this time, it will be to have the HEWMEN Cell app process information from more than 200,000 FDA-approved existing medications/compounds against models of the protein and enzymatic function of COVID-19 to see which candidates are most effective at reducing the virus’ pathology.

Between 1.5-3 million virtual experiments will be run for #WeAreHEWMEN. The experiments will simulate attempts to dock compounds to specific locations on the virus. By identifying the compounds with the highest probability of success, the development cycle time will be reduced dramatically so new treatments can appear on the market more quickly.

“If there’s one universal truth about gamers, it’s that they’re always looking for their next challenge,” said Robert M. Atkins, CEO at BALANCED. “COIVD-19 is the biggest threat to humanity we are currently facing and there’s no community in the world more engaged online than gamers. This makes them the perfect group to empower to help put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The HEWMEN Cell app can also combine human intelligence with the system’s machine learning by injecting scientific datasets into new or existing video games. As players interact with games, they are adding human intuition and insight into the process as they act upon scientific datasets to solve complex problems or help a computer vision algorithm learn to “read” a certain type of image.

BALANCED recently put a medical research project on Twitch, in partnership with Complexity, for World of Warcraft‘s “Race to World First.” The livestream event invited viewers to participate by playing BALANCED’s The Omega Cluster within Twitch streams while watching Complexity-Limit compete online. During the 10-day tournament, participants logged over 900 hours of gameplay in The Omega Cluster, virtually processing medical compounds for cancer medicines through their gameplay.

“As with ‘Race to World First,’ we’re proud to partner with BALANCED to showcase the power of gaming and esports within our greater global community,” said Jason Lake, Founder and CEO of Complexity Gaming. “We’re grateful to continue working with BALANCED, not only to create an engaging new experience, but also to be a part of something meaningful as we strive to find a solution to this global pandemic.”

Other BALANCED efforts include the use of its technologies in an award-winning project by Chief Technical Officer Corey Clark, Ph.D., for the Barbara Bush Foundation’s Adult Literacy XPRIZE (2019) and the creation of an Eye in the Sky: Defender game for the Retina Foundation of the Southwest to improve the automation of interpreting Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scans used in the diagnosis and treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

For more information on #WeAreHEWMEN, visit the website.