In October of 2000, the Pande Laboratory at Stanford University created a distributed computing project known as Folding@Home. By using computer power to simulate protein dynamics, it helps us understand not only how proteins self-organize and fold, but also how issues in this process can cause our bodies to develop diseases such as COVID-19, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and more.
Folding refers to the way human protein folds in the cells that make up your body. We rely on the proteins to keep us healthy and they assemble themselves by folding. But when they misfold, there can be serious consequences to a person’s health.
The goal of Folding@home is to understand protein folding, the diseases that result from protein misfolding and aggregation, and novel computational ways to develop new drugs.
Insights from this data are helping scientists to better understand biology, and providing new opportunities for developing therapeutics.
How Does It Work?
While you keep going with your everyday activities, your computer will be working to help Folding@Home find cures for different diseases such as COVID-19, Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Ebola, and more.
The project will use the idle CPU time of your personal computer after installing the software on your system. By doing so, Folding@Home is able to run complex calculations on millions of PCs which all help towards the research of protein folding.
Your computer will periodically request protein data to be analyzed. The servers respond by assigning a Work Unit to the FAH client, and securely deliver it through the Internet connection to your computer. When the client completes that assignment, the results will be returned to the Stanford servers and more work will be assigned.
Your computer may complete a Work Unit in a few hours, or a few days, depending on a number of factors.
Simply visit the Folding@Home website, download the software on your PC, and start folding! You may continue your daily activities as normal, while the software works as a background process.
The Fight Against COVID-19
Folding@Home has joined the fight against COVID-19 by implementing more simulations that can help us understand more about the disease. With the public’s help, Folding@Home is now more powerful than the top 7 supercomputers combined.
Download the software and set your category to “any” in order to help this cause.
Fold with NZXT
We’re in this together. After downloading the software, join the NZXT Folding@Home team (#244063) and help us fight the battle against COVID-19.