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So what is it exactly?

post #1 of 6
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I read all the FAQ and i dont seem to get the idea of what its all about. what exactly does folding do? what does my computer have to do with it. I get the part where its for a good cause blah blah, but i wanted to understand how would our computers contribute >< sorry bit clueless but curious nonetheless
post #2 of 6
If you are asking about what your computer does:
You add a client to your computer. Then your client receives a Work Unit (WU). Your computer then attempts to complete the work unit and then once you complete it. Your computer sends the information to the scientists for stanford and the other universities that have Folding @ Home group. Then the scientist look at the data and hope to cure diseases.

That help?

Well that is what I tell other people when they ask. It seems that this makes more sense then the whole protein thing, IMO!
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post #3 of 6
From what I understand...

The scientists at Stanford are trying to understand how proteins arrange themselves under certain circumstances. They have many different types of proteins that they want to study and, I assume, many different situations and conditions that they want to study them under.

So they hand out WUs or Work Units to your computer. Your computer chews on them for a little while, runs the necessary simulations, and then spits them back out with information that the scientists at Stanford can then read and add to their databases. Your contribution of processing power slowly advances our human knowledge of how proteins behave.

Additional/Detailed Information:
-Larger/more complex proteins require much larger amounts of processor power to simulate. Furthermore, simulating them over a greater timespan requires even more processing power. Therefore, it is possible to declare what kind of WUs you want to receive (Unicore, SMP, bigadv and hugeadv). Selecting the right WUs (most likely SMP if you fold on your 950) can take advantage of your system's superior processing power, and basically get more done.

-Here at OCN, folding is a sort of competition - we work to see who can complete the most WUs (each of which is assigned a point value) and gather the most points - and it's all for the sake of greater human understanding, but we have fun with it too

-Collectively, the entire Folding@Home network exercises about 4.9 petaFLOPS of processing power - just over half of the K-Computer's (the most powerful supercomputer in the world's) peak output.

-"In addition to producing ninety-five scientific research papers, more than all other major distributing computing projects combined, Folding@home has caused significant paradigm shifts in protein folding theory." In other words, it's done a lot to clarify how proteins fold - something very important, considering that we wouldn't be alive without them, and that their misfolding can lead to serious diseases such as Alzheimer's and Mad Cow Disease.

Stats from Wikipedia... sorry if any of it is incorrect. Please correct me if anything is wrong.
Edited by Escatore - 10/13/11 at 7:24pm
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post #4 of 6
Folding is ...um.... Folding, I realize that this explains nothing, but I will try.

When a cell divides everything is split into two parts. This includes everything from DNA to the amount of other cell stuff that I have no idea to how spell, and proteins. I believe DNA is a proteins, but don’t quote me on that, so that is what I am going to assume, b/c I am too lazy to find my Bio book and look it up. What folding looks at is when DNA and other proteins, untwist, break apart (one half goes to one cell, the other goes to the other), the new cell rebuilds the missing half of the proteins, and then re twist the protein back together. There is a big enphus on the re-twisting of the protein, and at the moment, it is believed that when the re twist shape is not correct, or the process twisting is not correct (even though the proteins ends in the same shape) weird stuff goes on inside the cell, think cancer.

The problem comes from this happens so fast that it cannot be seen with the human eye, or even supper fast cameras, that is where the computer simulation comes into play, and there is alot of data to process.

That is where we come into play. We off load some of our computer power to work on a tiny chuck of data and then send back the results.

Now to why we do it. I have no idea, to each our own.

Thats how I understand it,
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post #5 of 6
Most everything you want to know about folding is explained in this thread.
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escatore View Post
From what I understand...

The scientists at Stanford are trying to understand how proteins arrange themselves under certain circumstances. They have many different types of proteins that they want to study and, I assume, many different situations and conditions that they want to study them under.

So they hand out WUs or Work Units to your computer. Your computer chews on them for a little while, runs the necessary simulations, and then spits them back out with information that the scientists at Stanford can then read and add to their databases. Your contribution of processing power slowly advances our human knowledge of how proteins behave.

Additional/Detailed Information:
-Larger/more complex proteins require much larger amounts of processor power to simulate. Furthermore, simulating them over a greater timespan requires even more processing power. Therefore, it is possible to declare what kind of WUs you want to receive (Unicore, SMP, bigadv and hugeadv). Selecting the right WUs (most likely SMP if you fold on your 950) can take advantage of your system's superior processing power, and basically get more done.

-Here at OCN, folding is a sort of competition - we work to see who can complete the most WUs (each of which is assigned a point value) and gather the most points - and it's all for the sake of greater human understanding, but we have fun with it too

-Collectively, the entire Folding@Home network exercises about 4.9 petaFLOPS of processing power - just over half of the K-Computer's (the most powerful supercomputer in the world's) peak output.

-"In addition to producing ninety-five scientific research papers, more than all other major distributing computing projects combined, Folding@home has caused significant paradigm shifts in protein folding theory." In other words, it's done a lot to clarify how proteins fold - something very important, considering that we wouldn't be alive without them, and that their misfolding can lead to serious diseases such as Alzheimer's and Mad Cow Disease.

Stats from Wikipedia... sorry if any of it is incorrect. Please correct me if anything is wrong.
Excellent reply!

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