Infinite CPU speed = 'instant cure' for some folding apps?

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Infinite CPU speed = 'instant cure' for some folding apps?

Postby twinbee » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:57 pm

Assuming infinite CPU/RAM/HD speed, would we be able to almost instantly cure many diseases, or would further research need to be undertaken after we've perfectly simulated every protein fold we could dream of? I'm guessing the latter.

In fact, are there any 'instant' cures/applications if CPU speed were no barrier?
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Re: Infinite CPU speed = 'instant cure' for some folding apps?

Postby AZBrandon » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:16 pm

I don't think that's how it works. I'm no scientist, but I thought the description of the folding project was to understand first how the diseases happen. Then, once they know how it happens you could start research on a cure. I don't think that we'd see cures for all diseases just by knowing how it happens.
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Re: Infinite CPU speed = 'instant cure' for some folding apps?

Postby shatteredsilicon » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:46 pm

The problem is that the bottleneck of the problem shifts away from the simulation and toward understanding. In other words, the scientists become the bottleneck because data takes time to fully understand. And once that understanding is achieved, there is still the issue of synthesizing chemical compounds that prevent misfolding, and that is assuming that such a thing even exists. Not all problems have a solution - but the potential benefits make it worth trying.
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Re: Infinite CPU speed = 'instant cure' for some folding apps?

Postby twinbee » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:49 pm

Many thanks for both of your replies!

From what I understand, Folding@home concentrates more on the simulating all the possible folding combinations, while Rosetta@home looks at building and trying out new proteins.

Does this mean that Folding@home will reach a point (perhaps in the near future?), where all the combinations have been exhausted? When will they be exhausted? And on the other hand, would Rosetta@home never reach this point of "project completion", and always require CPU power to test out proteins?
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Re: Infinite CPU speed = 'instant cure' for some folding apps?

Postby John Naylor » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:45 pm

Your understanding is correct... however there are many many proteins for the project to study and some have said that it could see out the century (though no-one knows exactly)
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Re: Infinite CPU speed = 'instant cure' for some folding apps?

Postby bruce » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:56 am

Some diseases are caused by incorrectly folded proteins. To cure them, you have to ask why do proteins mis-fold.

Technically it's not just about protein folding, per se. Many protein-protein interactions are not well understood and benefit from detailed simulations. One example is described in the paper Side-chain recognition and gating in the ribosome exit tunnel
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Re: Infinite CPU speed = 'instant cure' for some folding apps?

Postby twinbee » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:46 am

Thanks guys...

Your understanding is correct... however there are many many proteins for the project to study and some have said that it could see out the century (though no-one knows exactly)

Just to clarify, that's for Folding@home. For Rosetta@home, it's more or less 'forever ongoing' right?
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Re: Infinite CPU speed = 'instant cure' for some folding apps?

Postby John Naylor » Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:48 pm

That is for Folding@home yes, but I cannot speak for Rosetta@home as I do not have much knowledge of that project.
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