Cure Found

This morning I completed my work on a cure for Mad Cow disease. By noon I was working to find the cause of Hotchkins Lymphoma.

It’s True! I contribute by helping researchers fight diseases like Alzheimer’s and Hotchkins. It doesn’t take any money. It’s easy and costs nothing but a few CPU cycles. Anyone with a computer can do it.

Folding At Home, FAH, is a software program developed by Prof. Vijay Pande and a small scientific group at Stanford University in 2000. The folding lab is part of the departments of Chemistry and Structural Biology. It is designed to use your computer to virtually “fold” proteins.

Protein – A protein is a long chain of “joined together” amino acids. Protein folding is the natural process your body uses to fight disease, work your muscles and work your brain. They accomplish the many chemical reactions necessary for life, but they don’t like to stay stretched out in a straight line. They like to fold up to make a compact glob. The method of simulating this folding process can expose examples of protein folding gone wrong. It is these anomalies that point the way to the causes and cures for disease.

Here’s a quote from Professor Pande during an Interview with The Setup in October of 2011.

QUESTION: “Who are you, and what do you do?”

ANSWER: “I’m a professor of Chemistry, Structural Biology, and Computer Science at Stanford University and Director of its Biophysics Program, but I’m perhaps best known as the Director of the Folding@home Distributed Computing project. Folding@home brings together millions of computers throughout the world to perform calculations in biophysics and medicine that would otherwise be impossible.”

How to Get Started

Although the science behind folding is complex, the program is extremely simple to use. Simply download and install from here

I started by installing the program on my main computer and was pleasantly surprised at how easy the installation went. The program is designed to use only those extra resources that are not in use by you. I can leave it running while I work and there is no disruption what-so-ever. I did not notice any slowing of my system.

1.) Download the program. FAH

2.) Join a team. FAH Team

3.) Ask for HELP if you need it.

PC Pitstop Community Joins Forces

In addition to the good feelings, I get to help my fellow man. I joined the PC Pitstop Folding Team. It has been in existence as long as I can remember but in the past I was always involved with overclocking and quite honestly never had a computer together long enough to consider this. Also it’s been more recently that diseases like cancer and Alzheimer have hit closer to home. I’ve lost both my parents to cancer and my “step” parents are both suffering from severe memory issues and Alzheimer disease.

When I joined the team a couple of weeks ago, I found members that I’ve known from the forums that have been folding here for years. They have completed over half a million projects and that’s a lot. We are ranked 78th overall in team scores and everyone is working to increase that everyday. I get to enjoy the competition of folding for a team and comparing myself and my team to others doing the same thing.

Because I’m one that enjoys competition, I now have every computer in the house folding. Each morning I check my daily results and see how it’s going.

So far, I’m inching my way up through the long list of people who have started on my team before me. I never realized how many individuals and teams there were participating in this. It’s fun to watch my progress and the dogs appreciate the extra light from the monitors at night. Just joking, in fact once it’s started there is no reason to even have a monitor attached. Set it up using a monitor and then just unplug the monitor and let it run. You can see your progress daily from other computers so the monitor isn’t necessary. Judging from some of the points I see, there must be some people using upwards of 10 computers. Either that or their computers are way faster than mine.

This is certainly not the adrenalin rush of sky diving or shooting a 3″ cannon, but good enough for someone who wants to contribute a bit to their fellow man and have some fun doing it.


Helpful Links

Vijay Pande on Twitter

Pande WIKI

MAC & Folding

The SetUp

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18 thoughts on “Cure Found

  1. If some of you are not very comfortable with computers you can download and choose to let the program do an automatic installation and configuration. You will see the program running with green highlighted notations.

    If you like you can then click Configure and under Team Number, enter 32035/Save.

    That’s it. You’re now folding for the Cure and PC Pitstop team.

    Keith… just a thought. For your temps to increase that much it might be that your air intakes are blocked. I’d make sure that your intakes are not up against walls, furniture, or clogged with dust or debris.

    Thank you for joining in.

  2. Currently folding for an altzheimers project which makes me feel like I'm doing something even if it's too late for my Dad. Everyone who owns a computer should be doing this.

  3. Yes, very nice article indeed! I fold because it’s easy and anyone can do it. Also, like many others, there is higher risks in my family. I have relatives whom are currently fighting cancer, a grandfather who has a pacemaker and is diabetic, a grandmother who passed from a stroke. Perhaps that is just the tip of the iceberg, though, I’m not certain. Would be wonderful to find a cure for those who still have a fighting chance. 😀

  4. I installed FAH, and found the following. My 2 Core temperatures went from less than 40 degrees, to over 70, and both cores were working at 100%. The GPU went from 41 to 72. Another temp, not sure what it is, went from 22 to about 65 degrees. And the fans went up to full speed! And this is in the middle of Winter. In Summer they get warm enough without that sort of help! So I uninstalled it, with difficulty.

  5. Ok, I’ve downloaded and installed. I used to do this *years* ago. I confess that now I am a little confused by it all. Went to the Forums and I really really don’t understand the complex terms there… and I’m afraid to ask a very basic “beginner” type of question. Years ago, we just set it as our screensaver. Is this what I do now? I don’t want to go into ini editing, etc. I am very willing to join the PcPitstop team. Could someone Pretty Please send me some simple instructions. It is installed. Do I need to leave the FAH Control Panel thing open? or may I set up as screen saver or otherwise run it in the background without the FAH control panel open. THANK YOU in advance!

  6. Don’t forget to install the latest client (V7), extra bonus points from September for 12 weeks!!

    Remember though we fold for the science and to help bring a cure for some of these medical problems, do not loose sight of why we fold.

  7. don’t forget to register for a passkey first and use it during setup of the folding client, that way you’ll get extra bonus points for every work unit you complete and send back within it’s time limits thereby maximizing the points gained for you and your team.

  8. I also have family members that suffer from Alzheimer’s and cancer. I have been folding on the PC Pitstop team for a few years now, trying to help find cures.

  9. I have downloaded the program and am running it daily. I will fold every day, all day if it will help in the fight against cancer. I am a three time survivor and will do anything I can to help others “fold” for a cure.

  10. Steve, you have me baffled here. I am always willing to help humanity, or even individuals like YOU, but I really don’t understand how “folding” works. I’m a bit hesitant to bite the bullet and download it. Interesting to contemplate, though.
    Mary Lynn

    • @Mary Lynn Kraft: Hi Mary Lynn, here’s a link that will describe Folding in detail >
      Other than that all you do is download the client Steve linked to, to a safe place on your PC’s hard drive and run the setup. It should install automatically and begin to run, using only idle CPU cycles (if you’re not working/doing anything the CPU is idle while the PC is on) on your PC. I run it 24/7 on 2 PC’s. I really hope you try it!

  11. I hope people read this and decide to try it themselves. Fold for a team or just as one. It doesn't matter as it all helps in the search for cures. Of course, if you want to fold for our team, we would be glad to have your help. 🙂

  12. Nice article Mr. Hogan. I Fold because Alzheimer’s and assorted cancers run in my family on my mothers side. It’s too late to help me, but perhaps my contributions will help my grand kids and others. 😉

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