March 13, 2005

Looking inward

Most everyone has heard of the SETI@home project, where you can download a screensaver that uses your PC's downtime to process data collected by the big radio telescopes pointed "out there" looking for life.

There is a similar effort to utilize PC's as a massively distributed platform to study protein folding.

What are proteins and why do they "fold"? Proteins are biology's workhorses -- its "nanomachines." Before proteins can carry out their biochemical function, they remarkably assemble themselves, or "fold." The process of protein folding, while critical and fundamental to virtually all of biology, remains a mystery. Moreover, perhaps not surprisingly, when proteins do not fold correctly (i.e. "misfold"), there can be serious effects, including many well known diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, Huntington's, and Parkinson's disease.

Check out details here, and Rich has more links and information at his place.

Posted by Ted at March 13, 2005 10:04 AM
Category: Links SciTech
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