Pretty Broad question and I don't have but a minute at the keyboard..
I'll have to refer you to these resources.....
Folding@Home Home Page
AOA Forums FAQ's
I'm sure someone will jump in here and give you a better answer soon .
Then, as it was, then again it will be
Though the course may change,
rivers will always reach the sea.
Last edited by Southern Man; 29th March, 2003 at 04:35 PM.
You can probably find out more about folding@Home at the home page as Southern Man suggested, but heres what I know.
Proteins(which are more or less a part of all the chemical reactions in our body) are made of amino acids. Amino acids are molecules consisting of 15-50 atoms.
The recipe for our proteins lie in our DNA. When a copy of our DNA( RNA) is being read in the ribosomes in our cells Proteins are being synthesized fro amino acids. This leads to long chains of amino acids(Ranging from a few to several thousands) These chains need to fold in order to become a "real" protein which can be used by the body.
During this folding process( which takes place very quickly) several different forces interact and directs the final outcome( ex hydrophobic forces, ion bonding, hydrogen oxygen bonding etc) These forces acts on every atom in the chain( possibly 50000 atoms)
Its a complex process which only has ONE right outcome. Some times - though not very often - a protein misfold. The effects can be harmless, but the result can also be quite bad. Alzheimer's disease is suspected to be the result of misfolded proteins.
The problem is that with all the interacting forces and the huge number of atoms its impossible to tell just what exactly goes wrong. When joining F@H, you download a Work Unit, which is basically informations on what a certain part of a protein is consisting of.
The program then uses an algorithm to carry out the massive number of calculations. This can take several days depending on the speed of your CPU, but with a relatively new cpu it usually takes less than a day.
It takes a LOT of WU's to give the scientist at Stanford enough informations to simulate the folding process of a single protein, but with each WU returned the understanding of how proteins fold is getting a little bit bigger and thereby the chance of finding out why misfolding occurs grows.
You get points for every returned WU and you are(if u want) folding for a team( in our case: AOA Forums) and under your own user name The longer the calculations the more points awarded.
Right then. Hope this answers some of your questions(Hope u didnt know the whole lot to begin with )
If Im wrong with anything Ive said, plz correct me.
God's got this all wrong. We are not special. We are not crap or trash either. We just are, and what happens just happens.
And God says, "No, that's not right."
Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can't teach God anything. -Tyler Durden
So am I
The picture gives a good overview of the process
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