Friday, April 13, 2007

Protein folding

Another interesting link that my husband recently pointed out:

Folding@Home project (FAH)

Basically, using a technique called "distributed computing," researchers in the Pande group at Stanford hope to better understand protein folding and mis-folding. This of course is a noble cause, as incorrect protein folding or aggregation might be responsible for a variety of disease states; Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, and the big one--cancer (as related to p53)--have all been linked to protein misbehavior. Instead of using a supercomputer for all of these protein folding calculations, FAH relies on people like us to download and run software devoted to their cause. While there are almost 200,000 active CPUs in FAH, a typical supercomputer has only 5000. So far FAH has been quite successful, as of March 21, 2007 over 40 publications have been attributed to FAH calculations.

Would you be willing to donate your computer's down time to a good cause?

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