Folding@Home is a distributed computing project geared towards understanding how proteins self-assemble ("protein folding"), which is a holy grail of modern molecular biophysics. What makes it such a great challenge is its complexity, which renders simulations of folding extremely computationally demanding and difficult to understand. (See Scientific Background for more details about what are proteins, why do they fold, why this is so difficult, and why do we care). Our group has developed a new way to simulate protein folding ("distributed dynamics") which should remove the previous barriers to simulating protein folding. However, this method is extremely computationally demanding and we need your help. We have already demonstrated that our distributed dynamics technique can fold small protein fragments and protein-like synthetic polymers.
We are now applying these methods to look at folding related disease, including Alzheimer's disease.