For those who don't know what Folding at Home is, it's an awesome initiative that lets regular people use their PCs to help research potential cures for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. Researchers need to find out more about how proteins 'fold', but it's such a complex problem that it can only be feasibly solved by millions of computers around the world all chipping in. That's where you and I come in. In a nutshell, it works like this:

  • you install the Folding at Home software (takes a few minutes) and set it to screensaver mode
  • Whenever you computer is on but not being used, it will do protein folding simulations, and send its results back to Stanford University
  • You get points for completed projects; these points don't really do anything per se, but they do make it more fun!
  • One day, you may have contributed to curing a debilitating disease, using a community-based method that involved no animal testing!

You can fold as an individual, or you can join a team and have your score added to the team's score. If you're interested, join my team, called "The Vegans". Just enter the team ID 161765 when you sign up.

There are actually a number of teams with the words "Vegan" in them (sadly, the one with 2nd highest number of points is called "Antivegan"), but mine has the highest number of points by far. It was actually started not by me but by some other guy, though he seems to have long disappeared. I'm the only active person on there at the moment, but because I have a beast of a PC (and have recently added my 2nd PC to the team), the team has quite a lot of points, and growing.

"The Vegans" has over 10 times more points than the other Vegan teams (which I'm assuming have long been abandoned by their owners), and is in a respectable 2,767th place out of 219,224. So if you want to contribute to the project while flying the vegan flag, this is definitely the team to join. Join up and help it climb up the rankings!