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 -