Did you know that it is possible to help medical research by installing simple software on your computer? Launched in 2000, Folding @ Home is a medical research project. It allows you to offer the untapped power of your computer to researchers so that they can use it remotely to perform complex calculations essential in medical research.
Concretely, the program simulates the folding of the proteins in the cells of the human body, a process intervening in the good functioning of the cells and which, if it fails, can pose serious health problems. The software makes it possible to contribute to the calculation of these different simulations to help in the search for drugs to treat many diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease or even Parkinson's disease.
However, these calculations require significant computing power. This is where Folding @ Home comes on track. The tool uses the unused power of the PCs of the volunteers participating in the project, and makes it possible to increase the speed and the quantity of calculation that the researchers need.
In the midst of a pandemic, the creators of the project recently announced on their site that they are using their tool for research against the coronavirus.
Once installed on your machine, Foldin @ Home works in the background, without you having to worry about it. Here's how to use it.
1. Download Folding @ Home
Start by downloading and installing the Folding @ Home software on your machine. Available on Windows, macOS and Linux, the utility works in the background and can be configured to use the resources of your PC while you are using it or only when you are not using it.
Once installed, it takes its place in the toolbar of the operating system, in our case, within the icons hidden on Windows.
2. Access the control panel
To activate the program, you will first need to go to the control panel. To do this, click on the software icon then on Web Control. You should arrive at the software control web interface.
It is also from this menu that you can switch the program to pause to temporarily stop the use of your machine's resources.
3. Activate the simulation
From the control panel, you can start the protein folding simulation by clicking on the button Start Folding.
You can also configure the tool to work all the time (While im working), or only when you are not using your computer (Only when idle).
You can also modify the power level allocated to the calculation by acting directly on the cursor Power, Light allowing to allocate a low power, and Full all the available power of your machine.
At the top of the control panel, you can, if you wish, select a disease for which you wish to support via the drop-down menu I support research fighting.
By default, Any desease is selected, which means that the resources of your machine are used for any disease, but in the current situation, Folding @ Home allocates these resources to the search for a treatment against the coronavirus which affects the plant.