Although the process of protein folding remains a mystery, we do know what happens when proteins do not fold correctly(misfold). Leading to serious effects, including many well known diseases, such as certain cancers, Alzheimer's, Mad Cow(BSE), CJD, ALS and Parkinson's disease.
What part does Folding@Home play?
Folding@Home (F@H) is a distributed computing project run by Stanford University which studies protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases. Using novel computational methods and large scale distributed computing, the scientists at Folding@Home simulates protein folding to examine folding related diseases to hopefully understand them better, allowing new medicines to be created based on this effort.
How is Folding@Malaysia involved?
Since Folding@Home is a distributed computing project, it is trying to harness processing power from as many computers as it possibly can to help in running all the simulations in protein folding research. Therefore allowing them to exceed the computation power of the most powerful supercomputer available!
What we are doing is contributing our PC processing power towards this project. By maximising the processing power of our computers running the Folding@Home client, we harness wasted processing power for a good cause.
How do I get involved?
In order to participate, download the F@H client here and run it in your PC. To join the Folding@Malaysia team, enter the Team ID of 2999.
There are 2 clients available, one graphical (very nice) and the other console (text) based, which is faster. Even Linux and Mac users can participate!
The F@H client connects to Stanford's servers and downloads Work Units (WU) and processes them on your PC. When the processing is completed, the WU is then sent back to Stanford, and a new one downloaded, and the process repeats itself. We get points for each WU done, and these points will add up into our team total.
But won't this interfere with my PC?
Not at all! And you better believe it! Normally, when doing typical PC activities (surfing the Internet, word-processing etc), your PC uses at most 5-10% of its CPU cycles, thereby wasting the remaining 90%! Instead of wasting these precious CPU cycles, the F@H client runs quietly in the background processing these WUs.
Best of all, if you are running a CPU-intensive activity (gaming/graphics/CAD etc) the F@H client will automatically reduce its priority (it is set to idle priority by default) and again will not impact your PC performance at all.
So what better way to put your PC to good use. Help humanity!
What are you waiting for? Run Folding@Home already!!