Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Folding @ Home

Folding @ Home is a worldwide community effort researching the causes, and cures, for various diseases due to the improper folding sequences of protein molecules. Motherboards.org has formed a Folding @ Home distributed computing team for members and visitors alike to join. We ask that everyone please join and donate your spare CPU cycles to help benefit Stanford University's Folding @ Home project. Together we can make a difference! This Folding @ Home flash presentation explains how.

How Do I Join?

  1. Determine your operating system.
  2. Decide upon the type of client that suits your needs. There is a screensaver version that uses spare CPU cycles when your screensaver runs. There is a higher performance graphical client, as well as a no-nonsense console/text version.
  3. Download the desired client.
  4. Run the client and have the team number 33258 handy during the install process in addition to your username. Follow the installation guide for your specific operating system, and the client type that you've decided upon.

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.

Just remember to contribute to TEAM #: 33258