Saturday, June 23, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
It is quite an amazing thing that everyone with a computer should be running. No doubt you can see, plain as day, it is a distributed computing project run by the great minds over at Stanford.
Well Jaymz, I have a question already. What in the flying poop is distributed computing? I'll let wikipedia answer that for you.
Distributed computing is a method of computer processing in which different parts of a program run simultaneously on two or more computers that are communicating with each other over a network.
Basically if you put enough computer together working toward the same goal, they make one huge supercomputer.
OK, so what is F@H doing with this tremendous power? Quick answer, it is folding proteins. Yea, I didn't pay much attention in biology either, so here is a quick rundown straight from the horses mouth.
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.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.
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.
Folding@Home uses novel computational methods coupled to distributed computing, to simulate problems thousands to millions of times more challenging than previously achieved.
Well there you go. Run their software and you will cure cancer ... OK not entirely true. But you will be contributing to the greater good. So if you've got a computer, you really should be running this program.
You can also team up with fellow folders and work your way up the rankings. I fold with a bunch of people from one of my favorite sites Penny Arcade, and we are known as the Folding Arcadians (Team 54717). It's a great group of people, and we chat and have fun while we kick cancer's ass on our way TO THE MOON!!!!!
So there you have it people. Probably the quickest (read: sloppiest) rundown of F@H EVER. But I hope at the very least I have inspired a few of my friends to join us folders on this journey.