Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Folding @ Home

I have been hearing about this thing for some time now and recently saw it on my PS3 so it really got my attention.

I decided to do a little research on this program.
Turns out its legit and its very helpful and takes damn near no effort from people. It puts your computer to work for a good cause and I think EVERYONE should take part in this.

This is from the Sanford University Website

Our goal: to understand protein folding, misfolding, and related diseases

What is protein folding and how is folding linked to disease? Proteins are biology's workhorses -- its "nanomachines." Before proteins can carry out these important functions, they assemble themselves, or "fold." The process of protein folding, while critical and fundamental to virtually all of biology, in many ways remains a mystery.

Moreover, when proteins do not fold correctly (i.e. "misfold"), there can be serious consequences, including many well known diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease, and many Cancers and cancer-related syndromes.

You can help by simply running a piece of software. Folding@Home is a distributed computing project -- people from through out the world download and run software to band together to make one of the largest supercomputers in the world. Every computer makes the project closer to our goals.

Folding@Home uses novel computational methods coupled to distributed computing, to simulate problems thousands to millions of times more challenging than previously achieved.

What have we done so far? We have had several successes. You can read about them on our Science page, Results section, or go directly to our press and papers page.

Want to learn more? Click on the links on the left for downloads or more information. You can also download our Executive Summary, which is a PDF suitable for distribution. Also, you can learn more by watching recent seminars (Stanford BMI ; Xerox PARC). One can also help by donating funds to the project, via Stanford University.

Basically what you do is this.

Download the program: Folding @ Home Program
(Find your operating system. Most likely Microsoft XP)

Run the Program and install it.

"Next" your way through everything.

After the installation you will see this screen:

In the User Name area put your name or whatever name you'd like to put.

And under Team number put 45435

That is the team number that was created on another forum.

After you press okay, it'll look like the screen disappears. Just go to your taskbar, and you'll see a red flower thingy. Double click that, and a really cool screen will come up. That's the proteins being downloaded and processed.

You're on your way to helping solve diseases!

Its for a good cause. And wont effect your computers speed in anyway. It runs on the absolute minimum priority setting in your CPU memory. And other programs that need more memory to run are not effected.

I am running Adobe Photoshop - Excel - Fire Fox - Windowws Media Player - Outlook and an accounting program and everything is running just as before. No difference.

What this program BASICALLY does is take protein and FOLD it. It creates it into another combination that Sanford students then use for studying and finding diseases.

Further explanation can be found here: http://folding.stanford.edu/science.html

Please join up.

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