Why use one computer to solve a large problem when you can split that large problem up into
smaller problems that thousands of computers can work on simultaneously? That's the
concept behind Distributed Computing. Efforts are underway to fight cancer, prove the
existence of extraterrestrials, crack encryption codes, and unlock the secrets of our
genetic composition, just for starters. You can play an integral role in helping those
projects to succeed by putting your PC's idle time to good use. The premise: choose the
program you want to participate with, download their software client that runs when your PC
is idle, join team TechIMO to track your progress, and have fun.
Find-a-Drug is a not for profit distributed computing project which was
set up by Treweren Consultants, the company who developed the THINK
software for virtual screening. Find-a-Drug aims to run a series of
projects in parallel addressing a number of diseases which have a major
impact on health. Members may elect to opt in and out of projects at any
time using the Find-a-Drug control panel. The progress of each project as
well as contributions of members are provided on the Web Site.
The current Projects that are running or will be run in the near future
include, Bio-terrorism, Cancer, HIV, Respitory disease (Sars), Multiple
Sclerosis , Pesticide/Herbicide and others are on their way.
The Intel-United Devices Cancer Research Project is asking you to volunteer your PC to
help process molecular research being conducted by the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford in England and the National Foundation for Cancer Research. To
participate, you simply download a very small, no cost, non-invasive software program that works like a screensaver: it runs when your computer isn't being used, a nd
processes research until you need your machine. Your computer never leaves your desk, and the project never interrupts your usual PC use.
There is no cost to participate and no impact on your computer use. The project software cannot detect or transfer anything on your machine but project-specific
information. It just allows your computer to screen molecules that may be developed into drugs to fight cancer. Each individual computer analyzes a few molecules and then
sends the results back over the Internet for further research. The goal is to enlist enough volunteers to provide very rich and thorough results to the University of Oxford
for further research. This project is anticipated to be the largest computational chemistry project ever undertaken and represents a genuine hope to find a better way to
is a distributed computing project to solve the
ECC2-109 challenge by testing their encryption method.
of the computers runs a program that computes DP
(Distinguished Points) values. The DPs are uploaded to
main server which checks to see if anyone has uploaded
The software is a very small program that runs in the
Windows command line interface or as service. Optional
party graphical interfaces are
Understanding how proteins self-assemble ("protein folding") is a holy grail of modern molecular biophysics.
What makes it such a great challenge is its complexity, which renders simulations of folding extremely
computationally demanding and difficult to understand.
Why do we care about protein folding? Understanding more about protein folding can lead to
in disease research, nanotechnology, and much more. Complete
details are available in Folding@home's scientific backgrounder.
To solve the protein folding problem, we need to break the microsecond barrier. The Folding@home group has developed a new way to simulate protein folding which can break
the microsecond barrier by dividing the work between multiple processors in a new way -- with a near linear speed up in the number of processors. Thus, with 1000
processors, we can break the microsecond barrier and unlock the mystery of how proteins fold.
is this project supposed to help us understand "real" genomes and proteins?
Genome@home studies real genomes and proteins directly, by designing
new sequences for existing 3-D protein structures, which come from real
genomes. The protein structure files that are sent out as work contain
the Cartesian atomic coordinates of a protein. This data was obtained
experimentally through X-ray
crystallography or NMR techniques. Note that this was not
done by us; thousands of scientists have spent decades compiling this
data, which is generously made freely
available to the public. By designing new sequences that could form these
specific protein structures, we're setting the stage to attack a number
of significant contemporary issues in structural biology, genetics, and
medicine. For example, the Genome@home data will be used to:
- Try to unravel a fundamental issue in the "protein folding problem"
(which itself lies at the heart of a huge amount of modern biomedical
research): the fact that thousands of different sequences can all form
the same three-dimensional structure.
- Predict the functions of newly discovered genes and protein structures.
Modern approaches to structural biology, known as "proteomics" or "structural
genomics", often solve protein structures without knowing what the proteins
do. Because techniques for function prediction tend to work best with
large amounts of sequence data, a virtual library of sequences for a
new protein structure will be an invaluable resource.
- Potentially design and make new versions of existing proteins for
use in medical therapy.
More teams to be added SOON.