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You've helped crack mathematical games, you've searched for aliens, the cure for cancer, cure for AIDS and even tried to calculate pi. What's left to do in distributed computing? How about helping the fight against anthrax? Remember, if you don't download the screensaver, the terrorists have won.
posted by mathowie on Jan 23, 2002 - 7 comments

Well, if SETI@HOME is too much of a long-shot for you, then how about something absolutely certain to result in important findings? GENOME@HOME is trying to search the results of the human genome sequencing project to find the place in the genome where certain important proteins are encoded, and FOLDING@HOME is trying to figure out how proteins are folded to become enzymes, where shape is more important than chemistry.

FOLDING@HOME is working on some of the critical proteins of HIV, among other things. HIV has been sequenced and from that they know the amino acid sequences of the enzymes it makes. But without understanding their shapes it's not possible to figure out how they work. This represents one of the best applications of volunteer distributed computing I can think of. With 40,000 participants, FOLDING@HOME has already had successes, including one of the HIV enzymes. (Courtesy of Firing Squad)
posted by Steven Den Beste on Feb 17, 2001 - 14 comments

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