Monday, April 30, 2007

Donate your excess computing power: Distributed Computing


I started fighting to find a cure for cancer, Alzheimer's and ALS; I haven't even finished my bachelor's degree. To do this I participated in a distributed computing project through Stanford called Folding @Home, http://folding.stanford.edu/. All I had to do was install their software which downloads protein folding problems and uses my computer's excesses processing power to solve them. I even get a cool GUI that shows me the protein while it is being folded in real time (note the picture on the left). They also have a site that explains the importance of the molecule that your computer is working on. I personally think that this whole thing is really cool and I am very excited to be participating in this. I hope others will share my enthusiasm and contribute to the cause as well, if not with Stanford's program then another one. At the end of this article is a wiki link that has some more examples of distributed computing problems and links to get involved.
Finding out how a protein folds is very important in determining its function and how it is able to react with other molecules. This information in turn can be used to explore possible cures or treatments for currently incurable ailments. I take pride that I can do my part in helping researchers study the properties of proteins. I am a huge fan of distributed computing and what it can do. To learn more about what distributed computing is or for links to more distributed computing projects check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_computing.

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