Tuesday, November 8, 2011

8 Million Folding At Home Points

I joined the folding at home movement back in April and have since been racking up points for the cause.  For those who don't know what the cause is, folding at home is a distributed computing program, i.e. you run software to compute a small chunk of a large problem.  Many people do this and so the end result is that researchers at Stanford get access to computing power that is many times the power of a supercomputer.  The majority of their work revolves around how proteins "fold" or assemble themselves, in order to diagnoise how the process can sometimes go wrong and therefore what to do about it.  The research targets 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.

The point system is just a way for Stanford to recognise your contribution.  It can also lead to a competitive spirit as well as to various competitions between various teams and individuals.  I fold as part of the overclock.net forum team (currently #3 in the world, and as part of that team I'm usually in the top 50 producers and sometimes in the top 20 depending. 

If you aren't folding, I would really suggest getting into it, particularly if you have a decent computer that often is sitting idle.  There are other community distributed computing systems such as boinc or wcgrid.

If you want to look at my current stats, click here.

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