Channels ▼

Community Voices

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Are You Folding Right Now?

June 12, 2008

[email protected] is a huge distributed computing project that aims to solve some of the mysteries of protein folding. 
Protein folding is a key medical research area. Proteins are long chain molecules that are fundamental to life. To perform their jobs as enzymes or antibodies or structural elements, these long chains must twist into a particular shape, in a self-assembly process called folding. When folding doesn't go quite right, the result can be disease -- Mad Cow disease and Alzheimer's are believed to be the result of protein misfolding.
The Pande Group at Stanford's chem department runs [email protected] to simulate protein folding and explore how it can cause diseases. 
You can join the project by downloading software that runs on your computer, putting your spare cycles to good use. At the Stanford site, donor and team stats are updated several times a day. Currently, about a quarter million CPUs are active in [email protected] TG Daily estimates that if just one percent of all CUDA-capable users joined in, the [email protected] machine would be judged the top HPC computer in the world.

Related Reading

More Insights

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.