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    Folding@Home is a distributed computing project that is run by the Pandegroup at Stanford University. Their goal is to understand protein folding, protein aggregation, and related diseases.

    What are proteins and why do they "fold"?

    Proteins are biology's workhorses -- its "nanomachines." Before proteins can carry out their biochemical function, they assemble themselves, or "fold." The process of protein folding, while critical and fundamental to virtually all of biology, remains a mystery. Moreover, perhaps not surprisingly, when proteins do not fold correctly (i.e. "misfold"), there can be serious effects, including many well known diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, and Parkinson's disease.

    For a protein to fold or misfold takes very little time, but it is hugely complicated. Analyses of the folding of even the simplest of proteins requires significant super computing power. The amount of computing power required to perform these gargantuan calculations and to come up with any worthwhile results is massive and most supercomputers today would buckle under the pressure. This is where we come into the picture with the Folding@Home software.

    What have we done so far?
    Here are the peer reviewed results from Folding@home. We stress that it can take quite a while to go from a result to a published peer review article (often as much as a year). Also, these articles are written for fellow scientists, so they are fairly technical. However, these papers represent our progress to date that's publicly available, with lots more on the way.

    What does the F@H software do?

    The software will then run in the background. It will try to download a set of data (a Work Unit - WU for short) from the Stanford University computers and then start processing the small amount of data. When this work has been done it will send it back to Stanford and ask for more data upon which to work. The WUs take a long time to complete even on the fastest home computers.
    Work is now stored at for example 15 or 30 minute check points, you choose interval during installation. This basically means you can leave f@h to itself and you need not pay any special attention to f@h during your daily use of your PC.

    You can download the installation package for the F@H program here. Use the name checker at the bottom of this page to see if your preferred name is unique.

    The newer GPU-folding client can be found here, for both Ati and Nvidia cards.(You need a newer card to be able to use this)

    Make sure you enter 33597 (the Dead Men Folding team) as the team number. In addition, it is recommended that you do not run the software in screensaver mode as this slows the speed at which your computer can process the work unit!

    Remember that your Ps3 can also fold like a super computer.

    Will F@H make my PC run more slowly?

    The slightly older CPU folding will not. When your computer would otherwise be idle, the software grabs the surplus cpu cycles for the benefit of this research and processes some of the data. When your computer needs to do some work for you the F@H program immediately stops. The chances are that you you use only 10% of the processing power that is provided by your Pentium or Athlon powered computer. This means that 90% of the time that your PC is powered up your processor is doing absolutely nothing. By running the Folding@Home software on your PC you can effectively use 100% of the processors capability as it only uses computing cycles that are unused. You should not even notice that it is running. For example, you could run F@H and play CS simultaneously - you should not notice any difference in the speed of your machine! If you want to make absolutely sure, then just adjust the option to limit the processor useage to 90%, thus always leaving 10% in reserve. But in the new GPU folding software, your GPU(Graphics processing unit) handles the folding calculations. That means it will be extremely faster than CPU folding but will take more power off from the computer. That means you can't play or do anything that requires computers full potential, but minor tasks like web browsing should not be a problem. It is adviced you run GPU-folding during the days or nights when you don't need all the power in your own use.

    Deadmen Folding - Team 33597

    In order to generate an additional element of interest in the F@H project, Stanford University allows teams to be set up who then compete to see who has managed to process the most WUs. A completed WU (once received back by the university) is granted a certain number of points depending upon its complexity. More completed WUs equals more points. You can see who is in the Deadmen Folding team by looking here. If you join the team (by downloading the software and entering your chosen name and our team number) you will automatically appear on our member's page when your first completed WU has been received.

    The Deadmen Folding team is open to anyone, so if you or a computer you know has some spare CPU time then please add it to our team folding effort! Join the team and help us earn some more points!


    Using other PCs to process more WUs and boost both your own and your teams total points score (aka Borging) is very popular. However we do not wish to see anyone losing their job or being reprimanded over F@H. So, if you wish to run the F@H software on machines that are not your own, please make sure that you have permission to do so!