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Thread: Someone Explain This "folding@home " Thing.

  1. #1
    Are you really trying to do something useful, is it a mindless competition, what gives?

    I've tried to read the thread, something about protein folding, but I can hardly see so many people being interested in that.

    I also noticed the same thing at another forum, is something big afoot?
    Aren't we in the trust tree, thingey?

  2. Lounge   -   #2
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    The end goal is to find out more about (hence find a cure) diseases like cancer and Parkinson's disease. Whether this will be achieved (in our lifetime or ever) remains to be seen.
    On a given day or given circumstance, you think you have a limit.
    And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit and you think "Ok, this is the limit".
    As soon as you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further.
    With your mind power, your determination, your instinct and the experience as well, you can fly very high.

    - Ayrton Senna, R.I.P.

  3. Lounge   -   #3
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    what are you talking about?


  4. Lounge   -   #4
    Originally posted by 4th gen@14 March 2004 - 21:21
    The end goal is to find out more about (hence find a cure) diseases like cancer and Parkinson's disease. Whether this will be achieved (in our lifetime or ever) remains to be seen.
    But what are you guys doing?

    Do you need to understand 3 dimensional molecular structure or you running a program which generates random protein configurations and you hope one of them is right?

    I'm a little confused as to how much you need to know in order to do this and how you know if you have accomplished anything.


    Ya, I know, RTFM hobbes, but I, just this once, don't want too.
    Aren't we in the trust tree, thingey?

  5. Lounge   -   #5
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    I don't actually use the program myself (well, I did for a day, but it crashed and took 22 hours of CPU time with it ), but I've done a bit of reading on it. Basically, the program connects to a server and downloads a 3d map of a protein structure. Then the program automatically uses your cpu to analyse the structure. No scientific knowledge is required on the users part, only processing time.
    Once the program has finished analysing that structure, it sends information on the structure back to the server.
    On a given day or given circumstance, you think you have a limit.
    And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit and you think "Ok, this is the limit".
    As soon as you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further.
    With your mind power, your determination, your instinct and the experience as well, you can fly very high.

    - Ayrton Senna, R.I.P.

  6. Lounge   -   #6
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    It's a distrbuted computing project run by Stanford University. This means that thousands, even millions, of computers across the globe are using their processing power to simulate the protein folding. With the power of modern computers, that's an immense amount of data being processed.


    What are proteins and why do they "fold"?

    From the Folding@home websiteroteins are biology's workhorses -- its "nanomachines." Before proteins can carry out their biochemical function, they remarkably assemble themselves, or "fold." The process of protein folding, while critical and fundamental to virtually all of biology, remains a mystery. Moreover, perhaps not surprisingly, when proteins do not fold correctly (i.e. "misfold"), there can be serious effects, including many well known diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, and Parkinson's disease.


    How does it work?

    When you run folding@home on your PC, it downloads a chunk of work to be done, called a 'work unit'. It uses the spare time when your processor is idle (not being used) to simulate protein folding. When the work unit is finished, the program uses your internet connection to send the results back to Stanford University and to get another unit of work.

    Despite what you might think, running folding@home doesn't hurt your computer's performance. It's designed to only work when the CPU time isn't needed for other tasks, so it will never affect any of your programs (apart from a little bit of internet bandwidth every so often to send results / get work units.


    What's the score system all about?

    The score system is a way of ranking people according to how much work their PCs have completed. Each work unit you complete has a score associated with it, and this score is added to your total when you finish a work unit (there are many different of work unit, each with different scores).

    We can also form teams to see how well we are doing as a group, our team is no. 39405 and you can see how we're doing here.

    There are no prizes for having a high score other than the satisfaction of a job well done .



    For more information, there's a sticky somewhere about it (can't remember where atm, possibly the talk club), or alternatively the Folding@home website.

  7. Lounge   -   #7
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    This is the main website, which tells you the aims of the project.

    In general the project uses spare cpu cycles in your computer. It does not normally affect your performance in any way, although it may raise the cpu temp a little because it will be running at or near 100%.

    And since your computer is on anyway it costs virtually nothing, just a few watts of electricity.

    Here's a thread with more information on our group. Sign up today.

    Edit: btw, if your computer keeps crashing when running it then in all probability your comp is unstable anyway. Overclockers use this as a test program to prove they have stability (as well as contributing to the project).
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  8. Lounge   -   #8
    So we are just offering our computers to help give them more resources to run their program, is that the essence of it? We are their bandwidth bitches?
    Aren't we in the trust tree, thingey?

  9. Lounge   -   #9
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    Originally posted by hobbes@14 March 2004 - 20:47
    So we are just offering our computers to help give them more resources to run their program, is that the essence of it?  We are their bandwidth bitches?
    Bandwidth needed can be neglected.
    Only a few KB every 10 hours or so.

    What you offer is CPU-power. Power your CPU can deliver, but does't as there is no work to be done.

    Together the folders use CPU-power a manyfold of the most powerful super computer there is. Our PC's simulate in 10 hours only a fraction of a second in the lifecycle of a proteien.
    Instead of offering your body to a universitiy when you are dead, you can offer the empty CPU-cycles your CPU has anyway.

    Your choice, you can let them go wasted, or use them to further science.

    Fold on B)

  10. Lounge   -   #10
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    Originally posted by hobbes@14 March 2004 - 19:47
    So we are just offering our computers to help give them more resources to run their program, is that the essence of it? We are their bandwidth bitches?
    As FD says, the bandwidth required for the program is very small, negligible at the end of the day.
    On a given day or given circumstance, you think you have a limit.
    And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit and you think "Ok, this is the limit".
    As soon as you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further.
    With your mind power, your determination, your instinct and the experience as well, you can fly very high.

    - Ayrton Senna, R.I.P.

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