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nV News Folding@home Team

INTRODUCTION

nV News, along with many other special interest groups, is taking part in the Folding@home Project. Folding@home is a distributed computing project which studies protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases. The project uses novel computational methods and large scale distributed computing, to simulate timescales thousands to millions of times longer than previously achieved.

Folding@home

Folding@home has over a quarter of a million users and over half a million processors working on the project. The nV News Folding@home Team is a group of users who are pooling our results together to process more data than we could individually. Our aim is to make the nV News team one of the most popular contributors to the project.

HOW FOLDING WORKS

Proteins 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. To use the Folding@home client, you do not have to be connected to the Internet continuously. The client will download a set of data to process, called a work unit, and until that work unit is done, no Internet connection is required. Once it is finished, the processed work unit will be uploaded to Stanford University, and another work unit will be downloaded.

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN

Here are a few reasons why you may want to join the nV News Folding team:

  • There is a chance of saving an innocent human life.
  • You will be taking part and contributing to one of the largest experiments in distributed computing to date.
  • "My PC? Oh, it's just finding cures for many well known diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow, CJD, ALS, and Parkinson's disease." Sounds very impressive in front of your friends.
  • Do you want a screen saver that displays pictures of fish (when nobody is there to see them anyway), or do you want your PC to spend it spare time constructively?

To join the nV News Folding team, download the latest version of the client for your operating system. After you set it up and create an account, you can then join the nV News Folding Team by entering the team number 13531 during the installation.

MAXIMIZING FOLDING PERFORMANCE

Once you have installed Folding@home, there are several actions you could take to improve your folding speed. The most obvious method is to adjust the amount of processor usage that Folding@home may use. Another thing to do would be to run Folding@home on multiple computers while using the same username. Folding@home can also take advantage of multiprocessor machines, so that is something else to bear in mind.

If you have any questions, check the Folding FAQ or ask in the nV News Folding@home forum thread.

FOLDING LINKS

Back to nV News

Last Updated on December 31, 2003

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