Coronavirus – Who can help
Any person willing to help can help. However, as we all know and this is a fact that 90% of Youngsters use Laptop or PC for work purpose, entertainment, gaming, etc normally. Due to quarantine situation it has gone upto 98% and we have found a way you can help us through your laptops or PC’s from your home. Considering the fact that the rate of usage is high from Youngsters, we hope each one of you can contribute in this and help us.
What are we doing & how you can help
Proteins are molecular machines that perform many functions we associate with life. They sense the environment (e.g. in taste and smell), perform work (e.g. muscle contraction and breaking down food), and play structural roles (e.g. your hair). They are made of a linear chain of chemicals called amino acids that, in many cases, spontaneously “fold” into compact, functional structures. Much like any other machine, it’s how a protein’s components are arranged and move that determine the protein’s function. In this case, the components are atoms.
Viruses also have proteins that they use to suppress our immune systems and reproduce themselves.
To help tackle coronavirus, we want to understand how these viral proteins work and how we can design therapeutics to stop them.
There are many experimental methods for determining protein structures. While extremely powerful, they only reveal a single snapshot of a protein’s usual shape. But proteins have lots of moving parts, so we really want to see the protein in action. The structures we can’t see experimentally may be the key to discovering a new therapeutic.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
1. Donate computing power:
Downloading Folding@home software on your PC or Laptop and helping us run simulations is the primary way to contribute. These calculations are enormous and every little bit helps! Each simulation you run is like buying a lottery ticket. The more tickets we buy, the better our chances of hitting the jackpot. Usually, your computer will never be idle, but we’ve had such an enthusiastic response to our COVID-19 work that you will see some intermittent downtime as we sprint to setup more simulations. Please be patient with us! There is a lot of valuable science to be done, and we’re getting it running as quickly as we can.
STEPS FOR INSTALLATION & USING THE SOFTWARE
1. Download the software file on your system.
2. Once downloaded, open it or double click on the shortcut icon created on your desktop to start the folding@home client
3. Change the identity to your name, team number will be 263404 and generate a passkey as prompted in the option by clicking on “Generate Passkey”.
4. Enter your name & email address and click on the given option below that fields.
5. Passkey will be sent via email.
6. Enter that passkey on the folding@home client page.
7. Click on Save, play with the options, click on “start folding” and stop whenever you wish.
Don’t miss to check the FAQS here:
2) If you don’t have computers to contribute or are feeling particularly generous, you can also make donations through Washington University in St. Louis here:
These funds are used for a number of purposes, including:
•Seeing a single structure of a protein (left) is like seeing players lined up for the snap in football. Important information, but a lot missing too. The protein structure shows a sphere for each atom (blue) and red arrows highlighting the one drug binding site in this protein.
•Our specialty is in using computer simulations to understand proteins’ moving parts. Watching how the atoms in a protein move relative to one another is important because it captures valuable information that is inaccessible by any other means.
•Taking the experimental structures as starting points, we can simulate how all the atoms in the protein move, effectively filling in the rest of the game that experiments miss.
2.1) Supporting our software engineering and server-side hardware (particularly important right now as we scale up rapidly!)
2.2) Buying compounds to test experimentally based on insight from our simulations.