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Folding@Home essay for college frosh eng.

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
This is my essay for my college freshman English class, the assignment was to pick a global problem with a local solution. I chose folding as a cure for disease, my boyfriend told me to post it and I wanna see what you guys think. I got a B+ so my English teacher apparently liked it. Let me know what you think! And thanks to havegooda for answering all my questions!



In the United States today cancer is one of the leading causes of death. There are numerous amounts of men and women in the U.S. that will develop cancer during their lifetimes. Today, millions of people are living with cancer or have had cancer. Many have tried to discover a cure for this horrible disease but none have succeeded yet. Now through Folding@Home scientists hope that with the help of people across the world they will soon discover a cure. The sooner a cure for cancer is found and treatment begins, the chances of living for many more years will greatly increase.

The word cancer originated from the Greek physician Hippocrates. Hippocrates used the terms carcinos and carcinoma to describe non-ulcer forming and ulcer-forming tumors. In Greek those two words refer to a crab, and one can assume he applied those names because the finger-like spreading projections from a cancerous tumor resemble the shape of a crab.

To find the cure for cancer scientists must study proteins and how they work. Proteins are the basis of how biology gets things done. As enzymes, they are the driving force behind all of the biochemical reactions which make biology work. As structural elements, they are the main component of our bones, muscles, hair, skin and blood vessels. As antibodies, they recognize invading elements and allow the immune system to get rid of the unwanted invaders. For these reasons, scientists have sequenced the human genome, which is the blueprint for all of the proteins in biology. However, only knowing this sequence explains little about what the protein does and how it does it. In order to carry out their function, they must take on a particular shape, also known as a "fold." Proteins are truly amazing machines: before they do their work, they assemble themselves, and this self-assembly is called "folding." The process of protein folding, while critical and fundamental to nearly all of biology, in many ways remains a mystery. When proteins do not fold correctly, or misfold, there can be serious consequences, including many well known diseases, many Cancers and cancer-related syndromes, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's disease.

Scientists working at Stanford University have come up with a program that studies the folding of proteins called Folding@Home. Folding@Home is a distributed computing project, people from throughout the world download the client and run software to band together to make one of the largest supercomputers in the world. Every computer takes the project closer to their goals of a cure for cancer and other diseases. From any computer, in any home, all across the world people are downloading the Folding@Home program and folding for a cause. Folding@home uses novel computational methods tied to distributed computing, to simulate problems millions of times more challenging than previously achieved. This has allowed scientists to simulate folding for the first time, and to now direct their approach to examine folding related to disease.

Some people may argue that running your CPU all day for weeks on end will significantly raise your electric bill, but that is not necessarily true. Roughly, a CPU uses about as much power as a 60 watt light bulb. Although power supplies on most computers are rated at 250 watts, average usage is much lower. On average, a Pentium-type computer uses between 45-70 watts while it is on. If the computer has no idle mode, it will use the same amount of energy whether it is running a program or not. If it is on idle, it will consume around 25 watts. So, the daily difference between off and running Folding@Home is about 24x (45 to 70) = 1.1 to 1.7 kWh. At $0.14 per kWh (from PG&E in California), it works out to about $0.15 to $0.24 per day, or about $6 a month. The difference between an idled computer and one running Folding@Home would be closer to $4 a month and if the computer was already being used 8 hours a day, it would be closer to $3 a month. In general, lighting and climate control use a much larger share of household power than computers do. So the best way to cut costs and conserve energy would be to turn off lights, turn off your computer monitors, turn down the heat, and keep folding. Some also like to argue that when running the Folding@Home program using the GPU client, or graphics processing unit client, the graphics while gaming will suffer. There is a very simple solution to this problem. When gaming the person running the client can pause it and then resume it again once they have finished with their gaming session. This will allow the person to run their games with the full use of their graphics cards.

Cancer is a problem that affects people all over the world, young and old alike are at risk. No one is safe. People have a vague idea of what causes it, and even less of an idea of how to cure it. Folding@Home gives people hopes that one day soon a cure will be found. Everyone, no matter where they are in the world can contribute to this amazing cause. It requires little to no work from the person who wants to help, all they need to do is download a simple program and leave their computer on for as long as their work cycle requires.
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Acid Tripp
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post #2 of 46
Very solid read and well written.

Nice job
Bye Bye 775
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Bye Bye 775
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post #3 of 46
I thought it was too long to read. But good job.
    
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post #4 of 46
Thread Starter 
thanks =]

and its only 3 pages with double spacing, that's pretty short for a college essay but thank you
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post #5 of 46
good read melissa + rep for hard work.
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post #6 of 46
Lol, in my Freshman english class, that would have been a fairly bad paper.

But clearly your teacher was going for something else.

I bet the people in your class found it interesting, if you had to read it aloud or do any sort of peer editing.
post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dezixn View Post
Lol, in my Freshman english class, that would have been a fairly bad paper.

But clearly your teacher was going for something else.

I bet the people in your class found it interesting, if you had to read it aloud or do any sort of peer editing.
wow good to see that you offer support. instead of saying this is a bad paper ( which it is not) you need to specify in what ways it could of been better. grow up and stop trolling. no one cares about your negative crap. :swearing:
Lurking Ninja
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post #8 of 46
Looks good. Personally, I'd omit the bit about Hippocrates - it seems awkwardly placed and isn't really beneficial to developing the essay's thesis. And you have good-sized paragraphs about proteins and the cost-effectiveness of folding, but I think it might be better for focus more on the program itself. You can talk about its long-term goals as well as the results it has produced so far.

Overall though, very good, especially with mechanics; B+ seems fair to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G|F.E.A.D|Killa View Post
wow good to see that you offer support. instead of saying this is a bad paper ( which it is not) you need to specify in what ways it could of been better. grow up and stop trolling. no one cares about your negative crap. :swearing:
Agreed, and way to stick up for your lady.
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post #9 of 46
Thread Starter 
the whole bit about Hipocrates was just to please my teacher i didn't care much for it either he said we needed to include some sort of history about the problem. but thanks for the advice
Acid Tripp
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post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tehpwnerofn00bs View Post
Agreed, and way to stick up for your lady.
But she's havegooda's lady...

Unless you know something about the two of them...

Hmmm...
Bye Bye 775
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Bye Bye 775
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