SiliconValley.com: PCs can use idle time to do research on proteins
Dec 08, 2000, 12:59 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Anne Rochell Konigsmark)
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"Here's an unusual want ad: People with personal computers
needed to fold proteins. This exciting opportunity requires no
skills and pays nothing. Perks: Groovy-looking screensaver and the
satisfaction of contributing to an important scientific
"A team of Stanford researchers is using PCs from around the
world to simulate proteins -- the building blocks of life --
folding or assembling into the three-dimensional shapes that make
them work. Much like a University of California-Berkeley project
called SETI@home that has millions of PCs searching for
extraterrestrial life, Folding@home will do its work when the
computers are idle."
"...Here's how Folding@home works: A person with a PC running
Windows or Linux goes to the Folding@home Web site and downloads a
free screensaver. The folding occurs when the computer is on but
not in use, which is when screensavers in general are activated.
Although the program works with some computers with a regular
modem, it works best on computers with a broadband connection."
"The downloaded screensaver is not simply eye candy like flying
toasters or a photo of Britney Spears; it shows the simulated
protein folding and unfolding. In the case of one protein, this
looks like a diagram of the Milky Way that turns into a
multicolored, moving model of a chain of atoms."
Complete Story [Ed. Note: No screensaver for Linux, yet.
They're working on it.]