Ever wondered what you could do to help researchers while you have your feet up or even asleep - try folding@home

Ever wondered what you could do to help researchers while you have your feet up or even asleep - try folding@home

Help Stanford University scientists studying Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, and many cancers by simply running a piece of software on your computer.

I have been folding since shortly after being diagnosed and can at least know I am doing something positive even when I am too tired or asleep. You need a computer or game station Takes less than 5 min to download/setup/ start running. You can can run as an individual or join a team. I have a team DISS an Dat (199689) which anyone is welcome to join. Vesuvius on the team summary below is a laptop and still manages to do folding with no noticible affect on usability.

Maybe there ought to be a team CLLSA or similar?

folding.stanford.edu play the video explaining how it works. Also check out various videos on youtube showing what folding is actually doing

4 Replies

  • Thanks for posting this information Myrddin

    Powerful stuff! I did have a read up and found that it has some history.

    On a personal level It made me uneasy as my own browser information searches put my own security on heightened alert against attackers a few times and caused my broadband hub to automatically shut down and require me to reset pass words??

    How secure are these schemes and how safe to your hardware and security?


  • I have similar concerns about general interactions with the internet. General searches can be dangerous and malicious organizations will always try and gain entry via any means.

    That is why running security software like Norton or Mcfee with continuous updates is critical. I have already had my second update in the last 4 hours with 12 anti virus updates as well as 3 other updates. I can monitor and control all activity into and out of my hardware – new activity is blocked until I approve. Looks like either your ISP or your security software did not like something you were accessing unless your hub just decided to go offline.

    Stamford is a good university with an excellent computer science department. I have worked closely with many researches who obtained their PHD from Stamford in another science discipline but one that uses heavy computing and requires good online security. The FAHControl interface they use is open source but the client itself is proprietary for security and scientific integrity reasons.

    The software runs on windows, mac and linux – so some more secure than others but all should be as secure as is possible with the right security software. The software can run in cpu or gpu ( graphics card) so can also run on games consoles very efficiently so an option that might address safety concerns if there are still some .

    I hope you concerns will not be put off doing folding. The project started in 1999 so they have been doing this for some time and have had some good results. There are currently 270021 computers involved in this project including such names as Hewlett Packard down to single cpus

    I would encourage everyone to have good security whether or not they are folding. Compared to general surfing folding is probably much safer.

  • Thanks for the feedback Myrddin

    Yes it was one of my security support systems that did not like what was among returns to a search on the topic of folding . It must have intercepted a malicious site that sought to gain entry. I received a security message informing me of the action taken and the shut down.

    I was relieved to see my security systems worked :-) I have been not so lucky on a few occasions in the past. (but still felt that moment of alarm as the system identifies the interloper and took charge.

    I learnt the hard way in the past, by not acting when security had lapsed. never again. My laptop has become too important to me and I use it in so many ways to support research and the communiy as well as my self.


  • Even when fully up to date things slip through. Mixed blessing when the alarm goes - reassuring that it caught it - otherwise you are not sure it is working - just like backups - need to check before they are need!!

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