What is folding?

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by thesnowman16, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. thesnowman16 macrumors member

    thesnowman16

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #1
    Can someone please explain (in small words) exactly what folding is? I have never heard of it before. :confused:
     
  2. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #2
    1. Our bodies are built on and driven by small machines called proteins
    2. Proteins are produced as a string and fold up into the different shapes used to do different things in the body due to many different atomic forces
    3. We don't have a detailed simulated model of how this occurs
    4. Folding@home is an attempt to create an accurate model that will simulate all the atomic interactions that causes a protein to fold
    5. Some diseases, like Alzheimer's and mad cow disease, come from misfolded proteins so knowing how proteins fold will be useful in finding a cure.
    6. knowing how proteins fold can also help researchers to design specific protein-based drugs for tons of other uses from resisting viral infections to treating cancerous tumors
     
  3. thesnowman16 thread starter macrumors member

    thesnowman16

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #3
    ahhh ok so how does one fold? I'm assuming it's an app on the computer that helps with this experment? How does this work? Do you run an app and it uploads all your information to a server? (Sorry about the noob questions, I have never heard of this term till I came here).

    I remember years ago on one of those free cd's you get with mags that there was an app (for my windows computer) that did some sort of resurch with my computer free resources (only a tiny amount) that was ment to help cure cancer, is folding something like this?

    Also what sort of progress has been made into these studys by using this mass distributed super computer app?
     
  4. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #4
    that app you mentioned is probably this one. The project divides processing into small work units that get distributed to hundreds of thousands of computers. After processing, the computers return the info and get new work units. As for progress, I've read a couple of the papers they've released and they seem to be making some headway into being able to simulate the folding of simpler proteins. Of course, this may eventually lead to simulations of larger proteins but with each increase in the protein's amino acid count, the processing requirements increase exponentially.
     
  5. Nicolasdec macrumors 65816

    Nicolasdec

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Location:
    São Paulo
    #5
    sorry, when i seached folding it came up with folding@home it has all the information i needed.
     

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