Folding @ Home

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Folding @ Home

Post by CBarca on Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:12 am

Folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project for disease research that simulates protein folding, computational drug design, and other types of molecular dynamics. The project uses the idle processing resources of thousands of personal computers and PlayStation 3s owned by volunteers who have installed the software on their systems. Its primary purpose is to determine the mechanisms of protein folding, which is the process by which proteins reach their final three-dimensional structure, and to examine the causes of protein misfolding. This is of significant academic interest with major implications for medical research into Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and many forms of cancer, among other diseases. To a lesser extent, Folding@home also tries to predict a protein's final structure and determine how other molecules may interact with it, which has applications in drug design. Folding@home is developed and operated by the Pande laboratory at Stanford University, under the direction of Vijay Pande, and is shared by various scientific institutions and research laboratories across the world.

More at Folding@home- wikipedia. Here is the main website.

I think this is fantastic, and it doesn't slow down your computer at all unless you're playing some computer game like GTA IV that is hard for most computers to run on its own, much less when you are running a program in the background (even if it uses idle processing resources). Anyway, it's so worth downloading and running on your computer- sure you don't get any benefit from it really, but I do like the fact that I can download this program, run it in the background (don't even notice it) and know that I'm helping further science.

Protein folding is something we as humans do not know enough about yet- and this is a nice, free way for you to help further our knowledge in the field of protein folding, without even having to do anything really.

I cannot recommend this enough- I think it's an amazing thing here, I'm just trying to spread its popularity a bit, get more people informed. The more computational power, the more we can understand protein folding, and the better chance we have of curing some of the worst diseases out there.

Oh yeah, wasn't sure if I should put this in tech or in Life & Humor, but I put it here. If any mods think it fits better in there or something, please move it.

CBarca
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