Stanford University runs a distributed computing program called Folding@home that analyzes the "folding" of proteins and the role this plays in many well-known diseases, including several kinds of cancer and cancer-related syndromes, COVID-19, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases. Now, you too can participate in this vital research, for free and without having to lift a finger!
To participate, all you need to do is run Stanford's folding@home software in the background. It uses only those spare CPU cycles not used by your computer, and automatically relinquishes the CPU when other programs need it.
Sound good, eh?
How to join
- Download the software (available for Windows, Linux, and OS X) and choose a user name. Please use your RationalWiki username (or some variation thereof—spaces in names aren't allowed, so you'll have to use underscores if you want a space in your name), so we can recognize you.
- Install and configure with your user name and the RationalWiki team number, which is 117562 .
- Set it and forget about it! Folding an individual work unit (WU) can take hours or days, depending on how powerful your computer is and the size of the work unit.
If you run this or similar programs on a notebook computer, be careful not to overheat it (desktop PCs are less prone to this kind of problem). Here are some tips:
- Run the computer only on a hard, flat surface, and make sure that the cooling vents are not obstructed.
- Get yourself a can of compressed air and use it every few weeks/months to clean out the dust from the cooling vent. As an additional benefit, you may even find that your computer runs more quiet afterwards (lower fan speed).
- If you find that your computer still runs too hot, try reducing the CPU usage given to the program and/or the clock speed.
Folding@home's official Team RationalWiki page.