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.
In concrete terms, the program simulates the folding of proteins in the cells of the human body, a process involved in the proper functioning of 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 substantial computing power. This is where Folding @ Home comes in. The tool uses the unused power of the PCs of the volunteers participating in the project, and accelerates the speed and 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 coronavirus.
Once installed on your machine, Foldin @ Home runs 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 runs in the background and can be configured to use your PC’s resources while you are using it or only when you are not using it.
Once installed, it takes its place in the operating system toolbar, in our case, within the hidden icons 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 the resources of your machine.
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 I’m working), or only when you’re 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, allowing you to allocate a low power, and 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 your machine’s resources are used for any disease, but in the current situation, Folding @ Home allocates these resources to find a cure for the coronavirus that affects the planet.