I heard you like science.
The Folding@Home project puts your computer to work as part of a global project to study methods of preventing and curing serious diseases.
From the Folding@Home website,
Protein folding is linked to disease, such as Alzheimer’s, ALS, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s disease, and many Cancers.
Moreover, when proteins do not fold correctly (i.e. “misfold”), there can be serious consequences, including many well known diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s disease, and many Cancers and cancer-related syndromes.
What is protein folding?
Proteins are biology’s workhorses — its “nanomachines.” Before proteins can carry out these important functions, they assemble themselves, or “fold.” The process of protein folding, while critical and fundamental to virtually all of biology, in many ways remains a mystery.
How can you get involved? Go here:
Step 1: Download the program to your computer. Run the installer.
Step 2: After it finishes installing, you need to make sure it runs when you turn your computer on. You Mac/Linux/Playstation people are on your own for this step.
Windows people, look for the folder the program installed to. On my computer, it looks like this:
Right click that folder, and select “open.”
Then right click the “Folding@Home” program, and select “Create Shortcut”
This should create a shortcut icon in that same folder. Now, open your “Start up” folder (you can see mine in the first picture, just above the Folding@Home folder) the same way, right click -> Open.
Move the shortcut over into the “Startup” folder.
Mine looks like this:
What you have done is told your computer to run the folding program each time it boots up. Folding@Home runs in the background, and after this next part where you put in a username (optional) and team number (optional, but why not!) you never need to look at it again.
Down in the system tray, next to the clock, you should see the folding@home logo when the program is running. If you don’t see it, it might be hidden, so click the “<<” icon. Or the program isn’t running, and you just need to launch it from your start menu.
Step 3: Right click the icon, and select “Configure”
You should get a window that looks like this. Here you can enter any username you want, and input our team number.
Team Atheism is # 215665
Click Ok, and you’re done!
Now your computer is working behind the scenes to unlock clues to solving very real world problems. The only necessary part is the install and making the program run at startup. You don’t have to input a username, or join a team to help the research.
If people don’t want to join Team Atheism, that’s perfectly fine. Here’s what I do ask though.
Share this post with the instructions.
Get your friends and family and co-workers to join in the world effort to cure disease.
You can find me on twitter, @DrDavidBurger