For the last several years Stanford University has been studying the mechanics of protein folding - or how proteins in the human body assemble themselves. As part of this research scientists are also looking at what happens when that process doesn't happen the way it's supposed to. When proteins do not fold correctly, there can be serious side effects which include many well known diseases such Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Mad Cow, CJD and ALS. Simulating the way proteins fold, though, takes massive computer resources, far beyond what would be possible using resources normally available to researchers. Stanford developed an ingenious approach to the problem by developing a distributed computing model where the computational requirements are broken down into many small pieces. Volunteers around the world download the client software from Stanford and use their computers' idle cycle times to work on the problem and return the results back to Stanford. Recent advances in processor technology and the use of stream processing on GPUs has enabled Stanford to make tremendous leaps in their research, none of which would have been possible without the participation of users around the world.
OverclockersClub is proud to be a part of that process with our Folding@home team. We are extending an open invitation for all to further Stanford's research efforts by downloading the Folding@home software from Stanford's site and be part of the OCC team (team number 12772) as we work together to better understand the role proteins play in these diseases. As a show of our commitment to the project, OCC will be running another contest sometime in February so now is the time to get those machines folding!
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