Folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project for disease research that simulates protein folding, computational drug design, and other types of molecular dynamics. Its primary purpose is to determine the mechanisms of protein folding, which is the process by which proteins reach their final three-dimensional structure, and to examine the causes of protein misfolding.What is protein folding?
Proteins are biology's workhorses- its "nanomachines." Proteins help your body break down food into energy, regulate your moods, and fight disease. Before proteins can carry out these important functions, they assemble themselves, or "fold." While protein folding is critical and fundamental to virtually all of biology much of the process remains a mystery.
When proteins do not fold correctly (misfolding), there can be serious health consequences, including many well known diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, AIDS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease, and many cancers.
If we better understand protein misfolding we can design drugs and therapies to combat these illnesses.