Join a folding team and donate your MIPS (Million instructions per second) to medical reasearch. Currently (apparently) I’m working on P1808 Collagen Brodsky Amber Core.
From the site, rather than me----
explain it :
[i]Our goal: to understand protein folding, misfolding, and related diseases
What is protein folding and how is folding linked to disease? Proteins are biology’s workhorses – its “nanomachines.” Before proteins can carry out these important functions, they assemble themselves, or “fold.” The process of protein folding, while critical and fundamental to virtually all of biology, in many ways remains a mystery.
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.
You can help by simply running a piece of software. Folding@Home is a distributed computing project – people from through out the world download and run software to band together to make one of the largest supercomputers in the world. Every computer makes the project closer to our goals.
Folding@Home uses novel computational methods coupled to distributed computing, to simulate problems thousands to millions of times more challenging than previously achieved. [/i]
Basically your pc runs this prog, and it uses ‘spare’ processor power to run the folding sequence. If you are just surfing the net, writing emails and using MS Word, it’ll bimble away happily in the background. But when you suddenly start playing F.E.A.R. or doing some complex algorythyms or video editing, it’ll stop and wait till you finish.
All the PC’s in use combine to make a super computer, because PC’s are powerful these days, loads working together make one super-powerful PC cluster.
It helps medical research science at the end of the day which is worthwhile. I set up an old P3 1ghz server just to run this, I think its so worthwhile. It also runs on my main PC, but as I play a lot of games its not running all the time.