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Rise of the Citizen Scientists

Mar 26, 2010, 09:04 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carrie Simmons, Maria Ionova, Jess Brady)

[ Thanks to Barbara Irwin for this link. ]

"When his wife was diagnosed with a hereditary disease, Peter Johnson wanted to help. Using a program called Folding @ Home, he found a way to make a difference -- by doing genetic research on his home computer. Due to the sensitive nature of his wife's illness, Peter requested that his last name is changed for the purpose of this story to protect his family's privacy.

""I remember just going into a fix-it mode like most people do," he said. "You try to look for things you can do to contribute or to help in some way. I couldn't throw money at the problem, so I thought I'd look at this, see what it does."

"What Folding @ Home does is simulate protein folding. Problematic folding is known to play a role in diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Cystic Fibrosis. With this software, which can be installed on a personal computer or Playstation 3 console, users are helping the scientific community understand the things that can go wrong in the body."

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