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Help treat diseases with your computer

  1. Apr 24, 2004 #1

    ShawnD

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    Would anybody here like to support some distributed computing projects to help treat/cure diseases? There are programs you can put on your computer which use spare CPU power to do calculations for medical research.

    As most of you know, computers are a big part of research today. Unfortunately, researchers can't be spending their entire budget on computers just to crunch numbers; however, there is a work-around. Instead of the researchers buying computers, they can create software which can make any computer contribute to research by using spare CPU power to crunch numbers. Distributed computing projects do not slow down your computer; they have the lowest priority when it comes to using CPU power.

    There are many different projects to support:

    Find-a-Drug runs calculations to find molecules which will inhibit/kill viruses/bacteria which cause illness. The user can select which illness to crunch numbers for. I currently have 4 computers fighting AIDS with this program. This program uses about 11mb of RAM.

    United Devices is mostly based around curing cancer, but according to their website, smallpox has been added. I don't remember exactly how much RAM this one uses but I think it was around 25mb.

    Folding @ Home does calculations for protein folding. I don't exactly know what good that will do because I'm not a biologist or a doctor. Maybe Monique knows. This program uses about 15mb of RAM.

    Genome @ Home does calculations to study genomes. This is made by the same people who made Folding @ Home. This program uses about 15mb of RAM.

    Drug Design Optimization Lab is a bit like Find-a-Drug but it uses 8x as much ram and doesn't let you choose which disease you are doing calculations for. Their aim was to cure normal diseases but after 9/11 they started gearing towards bioterrorism things like anthrax and smallpox. This program uses about 80mb of ram; that's why I don't recommend this one.



    Please support one of them. Your computer might be the one to find the treatment for a disease you may get in the future.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2004 #2
    Absolutely, I think there may be a way to get PF a group account and then we can all pitch in together. I know with the Genome project I can start a PF team that people can sign up for.
     
  4. Apr 24, 2004 #3
    4 computers? I've only had 4 computers since 1985-total. What are you doing with 4 computers up and running?
     
  5. Apr 24, 2004 #4

    ShawnD

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    What are you doing without 4 computers up and running? :biggrin: At a certain point, a computer is no longer upgradable. For example, a 350mhz P2 is not upgradable. To get a faster processor, like an athlon, you would need a new CPU, new motherboard, new ram, new power supply, probably a new hard drive (they were really small and slow back then). It's easier to just buy another computer.
     
  6. Apr 24, 2004 #5
    Spare computers or new computers for folding

    Some people build brand new computers solely for folding. It's not just something people do with spare cycles or spare computers.
     
  7. Jun 24, 2004 #6

    Cod

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    So Greg, are you going to start a group/team on the Gnome Project? Please post all the information if you decide to start a PF one.
     
  8. Aug 29, 2004 #7

    mee

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    Find-a-drug

    I installed "find a drug" on my computer and it made an ambulance sound every 10 minutes or so. Long and loud! Horrible! Gave no clue that it was the program causing it! No visible way to stop it!
     
  9. Aug 30, 2004 #8

    ShawnD

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    That might be an overheating problem. Is your computer in a ventilated area? Is the back of the computer pushed right against the wall? Is your computer overclocked?
     
  10. Aug 30, 2004 #9

    mee

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    Thought it might be overheating. Cleaned it. Nothing. Welll ventilated area. Took off the program. No more noise. :) Not sure how such a small program running in the background would overheat my computer more that the other programs I run.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2004
  11. Oct 1, 2004 #10
    I'll chime in on this one, and the simplest expanation I can give is:
    Proteins are made of a long 'string' of amino acids. Based on the arrangement the 'string' of acids will fold up on to itself. This is a protein as we are used to seeing. Protiens fold and unfold in different ways in response to different stimulis and their amino acid profile.
    Scientists don't know exactly how the proteins fold the way they do, and don't have the ability yet to determine with great accuracy how a protein will fold under different conditions.

    Sickle cell anemia, for instance, is caused by a SINGLE amino acid difference in a protein. This different make up is responsible for the painful and life threatening shape red blood cells take in a person with sickle cell.

    Many other diseases can be cured and/or treated if scientists can understand better this folding. This folding process affects all of us, even beyond those that are noticable ill.
     
  12. Nov 19, 2004 #11

    Phobos

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  13. Feb 26, 2005 #12
    Great links. I took part in the Genome project back when PF was on the other forum...then {ouch} I lost everything in a house fire. It would be great to get the whole forum involved in projects like this.
     
  14. Feb 26, 2005 #13

    iansmith

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    I set up a team for Folding @ home and the team number is 42986
     
  15. Feb 27, 2005 #14

    Monique

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    Which search terms should I use in google to find such initiatives?
     
  16. May 6, 2005 #15

    Pengwuino

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    That very well might be a temperature sensor that you took off lol. You really do need to look into your computer and check if any of the fans have failed (they should ALL be running) because hot processors = dead processors soon enough (and that alarm probably was the overheating alarm).

    People hecka build computers just for folding though, its nuts. I go to http://www.overclock.net and am on the Folding@Home team there. Im starting a new computer sales business online so im thinken of maybe throwing the program on the computers to stress test the components and help the cause :D. And of course, take the program off when its done...
     
  17. Jul 6, 2005 #16

    wolram

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    Count me in Greg, i could build a faster puter just for this.
     
  18. Jul 17, 2005 #17
    Try "distributed computing" or variants of that - because that's what this is. It's harnessing the power of thousands of computers all over the world by distributing smaller chunks of data for processing to them, as opposed to purchasing expensive time on supercomputers.
     
  19. Jul 17, 2005 #18

    selfAdjoint

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    I think I should warn people about my problems with distributed computer. I signed on to help with the computing on the graviity-probe test of Einstein's GR theory. The Einstein @ Home people used the BOINC software and promised that it would only be active when I wasn't online. Maybe I did or didn't do something I should have, because it wouldn't shut down when I got on in the morning and drove my CPU usage through the roof. I finally had to disable it. In my opinion, even if it was ultimately something I did wrong that caused this, the interface is sufficiently user-unfriendly that it was truly theor failure.
     
  20. Jul 17, 2005 #19

    Monique

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    You can change the settings to a certain CPU allowance. I too downloaded such software, which was set to operate at 100% CPU.. ofcourse my laptop would run red-hot if left the setting like that, I then changed it to a few CPUs.
     
  21. Oct 22, 2006 #20
    I run Folding @ Home on 6 devices (2 is offline at the moment) 24/7.

    I wouldn't run United Devices client because I heard that they use their "research" for profit and that data is not "published" like it is in Folding @ Home. Also, Folding @ Home have actually posted what they have "discovered" using the "research" that DC has generated.
     
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