Folding@Home is the worlds largest distributed computer. Proteins are not merely strings of amino acids. They present active surfaces based on how they fold. When they fold in 'wrong' ways problems arise. The best known example is Mad Cow, or BSE.
Some speculate or believe that other things like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's have protein misfolding at their root.
Mother had difficulty this week remembering that the bug in front of her was a 'Lobster' which has been her favorite rare food since her first encounter with one fifty years ago. She is afflicted with Alzheimer's through no fault of her own as nearly as I can tell. She is not suffering.
Ronald Reagan was also afflicted and there is no way you can convince me that it was caused by lack of exercise, lack of intellectual stimulation, or neglect of any kind. I have very little respect for Nancy but when it became clear that Ronald was impaired she never again allowed him to appear in public. I respect her for that.
George Steinbrenner too, also. His last public appearance was probably a mistake.
How to Contribute. I cannot write from experience about any other platform than modern Windows. They say that the PS/3 stuff rocks but I don't have one. Modern Graphics Cards appear te be ideally suited for folding.
From the left the flat line bit is using only a P4. I just get off the ground when I got Server as an unexpected gift. Twin Xeons. Power hog. More pics here. It includes early pics of 'Smokey' which I found by the curb. I replaced a few burnt bits and the results are obvious.
Core i5-750. The last two jumps are from adding video cards. They are identical and are non SLIed. Total power consumption now is less than when Server was deafening me with fan noise.
About now you may be asking yourself, why isn't everyone helping? Until recently Stanford did not have an easy way to set up multiple core processors, multiple processors, or processors and video cards on the same 'puter. Now they do. If you are running Windows the first link in this diary will start you out, fast.
Now for teh Freeper part. Stats and such like. At this time teh Freepers are on line 99. Daily Kos is sitting at 165. We have better machines but there are fewer of us folding.
How to join the Team. There are two required elements. One is knowing that our team number is 48083. The other is getting a passkey. The reason is a matter of historical kludge, multiple donors with the same ID.
I have bookmarked the email with my Passkey at my yahoomail. Copy/Paste as needed
I cleaned out the cruft in my OS by nuking and paving this week. As a consequence I needed to re-up F@H. If you use FireFox as I do then you might get confronted with an untrusted certificate that IE users will not encounter.
cruft is unlikely to end anytime soon. F@H swears that it's OK to click the trust link.