Rise of the Citizen Scientists
Mar 26, 2010, 09:04 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carrie Simmons, Maria Ionova, Jess Brady)
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[ 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."