Games get serious

Tell us again about how video games (and consoles) rot the mind.

IBM and the Mayo Clinic are teaming up to use game console technology to advance the doctors’ ability to quickly look at a brain, according to Computerworld magazine.

The chip being used is the one on which a Playstation runs.

There is, as it turns out, a connection between computers and doctors. Bradley Erickson, chairman of radiology at Mayo, invoked Moore’s Law to explain the problem doctors face in reviewing images of brains. There’s too many of them coming too fast. Moore’s Law states that “the number of transistors that can be inexpensively placed on an integrated circuit is increasing exponentially, doubling approximately every two years.”

If the PS3 chip idea works, Mayo docs will be able to compare before/after pictures of patients’ brains within seconds.

How important is the non-gaming use of a gaming chip?

“It’s been a godsend, a gift to science, to use this,” said Klaus Schulten, director of the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group at the Beckman Institute of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He uses the chip to generate computer simulations of working components of human cells in a process that starts with an expensive supercomputer crunching data about millions of atoms.

And it all started with Pong.

(Hat Tip: Michael Wells)

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