Lets all help with Protein Research

I've recently been informed of some research that Stanford University are doing on folding proteins which are implicated in Parkinson's (as well as Alzheimer's etc). To quote the website "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've just installed it today and it's running in the background.

Come on everyone - let's get behind this.

14 Replies

  • Is this for real! ? Computer software with research capability for proteins on a computer - Sounds too weird to even look.

  • I've been involved in similar project in the past, looking for extraterrestrial life radio transmissions. The research software runs in the background and comes into life when your computer shows its screensaver. The program can download tasks and typically analyses data and return results.

    All this is executed without interaction with you, the user, and runs only when your computer is idle. Simply employs masses of computer power which otherwise would be wasted.

  • Is it a Data Tracking thingy where those concerned can then sell your private info - I would hate to put anything like that on my machine - I get too many tracking 'threats' as it is according to the antivirus programs installed.

  • beauxreflets

    I don't think it is malicious, more about using "free" computer power. But you're right to ask the question. I'm about to look at the small print and if not satisfied, contact them to get assurance that their software will not mine information from my computer.

    At the end of the day, it 's up to the individual to be satisfied that they are comfortable with allowing this to run on their computer. I certainly won't recommend anyone to run it but I will let you know what I find.

  • Beauxreflets,

    There is a project web site at:


    I found the FAQ section helpful, especially:


    There is also a support forum

  • I'm not encouraged to even look, simply as I cannot fathom how running a download will provide support beyond any advert service selling space to provide the programmer; and adverts tend to install cookies that may or may not be beneficial or desired etc.

  • What an underwhelming, negative response (apart from grey - thank you). Here's an opportunity to help ourselves and to help contribute to research from an well respected institution. Maybe I'm being unfair and you're all already running this software but for anyone else who can't be bothered to Google this I've done it for you,




  • Our own folding@home team "healthninjas" has been formed. Care to join us? (Our team number is 227512 ). I intended this mostly for PWPs who frequent HealthUnlocked, but anybody can join, as explained below.

    Great idea, partypants! Count me in, too. I have downloaded the program to my Mac, and also created for us a "team" called "healthninjas" . The idea is this : if you join the team, all our points we scored (by our contributions to the effort) will be pooled. The drip-drop of our small personal contribution will be magnified into a roaring torrent.

    To sign up for our team is easy. After you download the program , a Web Control page will come up in which you will at first be listed in the upper left corner as "Anonymous". Underneath that is a link to "change identity". Click on this to enter your Username, e.g. dumpelkin, and our team number, 227512. When you save this info, the listing changes to:

    "I'm folding as


    Team 227512"

    At any time, through applications installed in your machine, you can : a) control how much or little your computer is being used, b) watch in real time the protein structure as it is being morphed with your help, c) see how much of your current work unit has been completed, d) uninstall the FAH program, and much more.

    The folks/computers at folding@home confirmed the formation of our team as follows:

    "New team healthninjas with number 227512 has been founded by dumpelkin      

     (The team page will link to homepage at fah-web2.stanford.edu/gener... and link to a logo graphic at web.stanford.edu/group/pand...  Any client program can contribute to the statistics for this team by putting the number 227512 in the team field in the client "

  • Nice one. What a great idea - I''ll join the team next time I get the chance.

  • Joined the team now!

  • I'M IN!! THANKS!!

  • They perform calculations that require enormous computing power so the idea is to let them use yours and thousands of other pc's simultaneously. If your computer is off or asleep they can't use it but if your pc is awake then they can. Just want to run a virus check and make sure you can uninstall easily.

  • INCREASE OUR FIREPOWER! It's only been about 2 days since Team healthninjas of the Folding@home effort was formed, and already we are making a splash! We have moved up to the top third in the team rankings. We're currently ranked 70,000 out of 220,000 teams. You can see our team stats here:


    How about joining us and increasing our firepower? To sign up, install the program from Folding@home and use "change identity" link, with your Username, and our Team number, 227512. They will give you 3 control panels/viewers on your computer, which you can interact with at any time, to see your protein mega-molecule as it is folded live, and to select the settings that are most comfortable for you.

    I am very stupid about computers. so if I could easily make this all work, anybody can!

  • Looks like just you and me then dumplekin.

    I've extended the invitation to everyone on the PatientsLikeMe research forum. Maybe there will be better response there.

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