'Folding' for a good cause
Have you ever considered joining the 'AlfaOwner.com' [email protected]
What is [email protected]???
is a distributed computing project that is run by the Pandegroup at Stanford University. Their goal is to understand protein folding, protein aggregation, and related diseases.
What are proteins and why do they "fold"?
Proteins are biology's workhorses -- its "nanomachines." Before proteins can carry out their biochemical function, they assemble themselves, or "fold." The process of protein folding, while critical and fundamental to virtually all of biology, remains a mystery. Moreover, perhaps not surprisingly, when proteins do not fold correctly (i.e. "misfold"), there can be serious effects, including many well known diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, and Parkinson's disease.
For a protein to fold or misfold takes very little time, but it is hugely complicated. Analyses of the folding of even the simplest of proteins requires significant super computing power. The amount of computing power required to perform these gargantuan calculations and to come up with any worthwhile results is massive and most supercomputers today would buckle under the pressure. This is where we come into the picture with the [email protected]
The Alfaowner.com Folding Team
Started in April 2009, the AO Team is now in 311th place out of 187943 teams, having overtaken pretty well all of the other car club based teams, and with the help of a few additional members will be poised to surge into the top 300.
Will [email protected] make my PC run more slowly?
No it will not. When your computer would otherwise be idle, the software grabs the surplus cpu cycles for the benefit of this research and processes some of the data. When your computer needs to do some work for you the [email protected]
program immediately stops.
[email protected] - Download the [email protected] software application
Have you got [email protected]
questions? Leave them in this thread. One of the active folders will try and answer.
Have you joined?: let us know!
(Posted on behalf of the AO [email protected] Team)