Researchers use Xbox for cardiac research

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From the “well isn’t that interesting” department, researchers in the UK have published a paper on the results of their exploration into the predictability of cardiac arrhythmias. The research is interesting, but outside the scope of this site. What is in scope, however, is that they used an Xbox to get their numerical results

“This is a highly effective way of carrying out high end parallel computing on ‘domestic’ hardware for cardiac simulations. Although major reworking of any previous code framework is required, the Xbox 360 is a very easy platform to develop for and this cost can easily be outweighed by the benefits in gained computational power and speed, as well as the relative ease of visualization of the system.” However his research does have some bad news for a particular set of cardiac researchers in that his study demonstrates that it is impossible to predict the rise of certain dangerous arrhythmias, as he has shown that cardiac cell models are affected by a specific limitation of computational systems known as the Halting problem.

Game consoles for computing are the subject of perennial fascination, and although the Xbox has been used for computation before it is not nearly so commonly used as Sony’s Playstation. You can find papers published as far back as 2003 with HPL results for Xbox clusters (here, for example).