This page contains information in regards to our Folding@Home Team and our support to the cause as well as current client statistics and progress.
What are Distributed Computing Projects?
Distributed Computing is a technique of workload distribution. In this case, a large project which involves massive amounts of calculations is split up into pieces much like a puzzle.
The pieces are distributed to contributors (You). Your computer will complete the calculation of the piece and return the results. All returned results will then be reassembled to form the full picture.
This is done primarily because these are massive amounts of calculations which would take tremendous amount of time to do on a single computer, even today's super computers would take a very long time to complete these tasks by themselves.
The power of distributed computing is in the strength of numbers.
What is protein folding?
Proteins are biology's workhorses -- "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.
Protein folding is linked to disease, such as Alzheimer's, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease, and many Cancers;
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 scientists studying these diseases by simply running a piece of software.
Folding@home is a distributed computing project -- people from throughout the world download and run software to band together to make one of the largest supercomputers in the world. Every computer takes the project closer to our goals. Folding@home uses novel computational methods coupled to distributed computing, to simulate problems millions of times more challenging than previously achieved.
Below is a link to the Stanford University Folding@Home project website.
In the words of the founder, The Pande Group: