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Durandal7
Jul 21, 2003, 02:55 AM
I have looked into the practical applications of Folding since most people seem to be at a loss for just what good our WUs are doing:

Folding is just the process that occurs when all the atoms bond and form a protein. The computers in the project are running simulations into how the atoms combine.

There are several very promising uses for this. First off, it is worth noting that not every protein in the Folding project has been a natural one. Several of the Folding simulations have been on synthetic molecules that are able to fold into useful structures like tubules. Nano-technologists take note.

Secondly, many diseases wreak their havoc by halting or disrupting the natural Folding process. If we figure out exactly how they disrupt this Folding process then we may find potential methods of combating them.

Now those both look good on a Doctoral thesis, but they have not been put to real world use as of yet. There is something that Folding is being used for that has very real results that will affect us all within the decade.

That is the Genome project.

Most genes contain blueprints for proteins. We don't know a damn thing about most of these proteins. The Genome project will churn out a molecule that we know nothing about. Folding tells us a great deal about the proteins by telling us how they form, in turn we may predict how they will interact with other proteins.

There is a reason that Genome@Home is part of Folding@Home.



maradong
Jul 21, 2003, 03:44 AM
thumb up from me,
for this nice summary
;-)

Vlade
Jul 21, 2003, 09:46 AM
Thanks, I was wondering about that when I started

pEZ
Jul 21, 2003, 01:55 PM
Maybe that should be added to the FAQ, like in a separate post. It might be a better explanation than "Folding helps cure diseases."

MrMacMan
Jul 21, 2003, 02:39 PM
Didn't everyone know this?

I mean besides from helping the team I wanted to know what the hell I'm doing... :eek:

crazytom
Jul 21, 2003, 03:18 PM
In the wrong hands, folding data could be used to create new and incurable diseases as well as curing our (currently) incurable diseases. Just like nuclear power/bombs and all other 'great' technologies, with the good comes the bad. Nanotechnology sounds great, but it also scares the hell out of me: read "Prey" by Michael Crichton and you'll understand what I mean.

Vlade
Jul 21, 2003, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by crazytom
In the wrong hands, folding data could be used to create new and incurable diseases as well as curing our (currently) incurable diseases. Just like nuclear power/bombs and all other 'great' technologies, with the good comes the bad. Nanotechnology sounds great, but it also scares the hell out of me: read "Prey" by Michael Crichton and you'll understand what I mean.

I've never thought of it that way... but I see your point



:eek:

Rower_CPU
Jul 21, 2003, 08:36 PM
Just finished reading Prey this weekend, and yeah nanotech in the wrong hands will be disastrous.

Thanks for the analysis, Durandal7.