Want to “Recycle” CPU Time?

March 9th, 2007 by xformed

Distributed computing has become a valuable tool in analyzing masses of data. One of the first was the SETI@Home project (about 2.7M years of computing time has been used on this effort), which needed help searching through the volumes of collected radio spectrum data pulled down. Since that project modeled a method to use other computers across a large area network to assist in culling through the info, there are now protein folding project at Stanford University. Here’s what they say the work is for:

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.

From the “Results” page, what the project has accomplished already:

2005 First results from Folding@Home cancer project published. We have been studying the p53 tumor surpressor and our first results on p53 have recently been published. You can find a summary and link to the paper on our papers page.

If you’re a biology geek, or have an interest in Intelligent Design, there is some really interesting information about proteins at the Stanford site on using anoantubes and the information for help design drugs absed on this research.

Who’s playing? Lookee here!

World Map for Protein Folding Project
Just an recommendation to use some of that electricity wisely while you’re not actively using the CPU cycles for your direct use…

Tracked back @: Third World County

This entry was posted on Friday, March 9th, 2007 at 9:24 am and is filed under Public Service, Scout Sniping, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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