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Is there something better my computer can be doing then sleeping?

I once heard of thousands of people using their excess computing power to help find a cure to cancer?

Would donating processor time actually help find a cure?

What program could I use to do this?

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Well, i would note, these things use quite a bit of processor power and heat, so it would not be the most green idea. On the other hand, if you had a P IV and needed a little extra heat over winter... –  Journeyman Geek Nov 22 '11 at 5:56
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Whats is a "P IV"? And how do you know that I don't my power from renewable resources eg. wind? (I do) –  wizlog Nov 22 '11 at 6:02
    
pentium IV. Rather notorious for producing MASSIVE amounts of heat, especially in their later iterations. –  Journeyman Geek Nov 22 '11 at 6:10
    
@wizlog :re: renewable energy...wind... are you serious??? –  Vineet Menon Nov 22 '11 at 6:46
    
tell that to the guy downwind with his turbine not turning. energy stealer ! –  Sirex Nov 22 '11 at 8:47
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closed as off topic by Linker3000, random Nov 22 '11 at 14:17

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3 Answers

http://folding.stanford.edu/

Protein folding is linked to disease, such as Alzheimer's, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease, and many Cancers. Moreover, when proteins do not fold correctly (i.e. "misfold"), there can be serious consequences, including many well known diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease, and many Cancers and cancer-related syndromes.

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hmmm... I think I'm starting to like this one. +1, thanks. –  wizlog Nov 22 '11 at 5:40
    
part of BOINC.. –  Sathya Nov 22 '11 at 6:26
    
@Sathya No, folding@home does not use the BOINC framework. –  Flow Nov 22 '11 at 9:08
    
@Flow - right I got it mixed with Rosetta@Home, thanks –  Sathya Nov 22 '11 at 9:19
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BOINC is a very popular service for CPU cycle donation. It is mainly by SETI@HOME Project for finding extraterrestrial intelligence.

LHC@Home is another project where in your CPU cycles can be used by particle physicists at CERN, Geneva for their project in finding Higgs boson.


EDIT : I just now noticed a wiki page for this...It has a list of third party external sites for medicine related distributed computing sites.

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I wasn't really looking for extraterrestrial intelligence or even existence, I was looking for something medicine related. (+1 anyway though) –  wizlog Nov 22 '11 at 5:36
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@wizlog BOINC has far more than just SETI and LHC. The vast majority of distributed computing projects use BOINC. –  nhinkle Nov 22 '11 at 5:43
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I can only recommend to use BOINC together with an Account Manager: Gridreplublic if you want an easy one, BAM if you want full control. –  Flow Nov 22 '11 at 9:19
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I have donated my CPU to World Community Grid. I think they are using BOINC client which other answers are mentioning. WCG is backed by IBM.

Be careful because the client may use too much CPU power, which could lead to too much heat being generated.

Personally, I used to donate my CPU to smaller tasks as some projects will give short tasks so in the end, it feels good when the project gets completed.

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