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Folding@Home after Covid-19

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:08 pm
by Jonazz
I'm amazed at the number of folders who have joined over the last 2 months. We went from roughly 90 petaflops to 2.6 exaflops, that's huge!
Almost all of the computing power is directed to battle the coronavirus, and rightly so imo. But it got me thinking: we'll conquer this virus one day, what are the plans of the F@H team once that has happened?

So, assuming we'll have far more than 90 petaflops of computing power remaining after this surge cools down, what will the research priotities of the F@H team be?

These are my personal preferences:

1) Antiobiotic resistance: Why so high? It is (as far as I know) the only field in medicine which is regressing! We're taking antibiotics for granted. Even now, I here about doctors giving antibiotis for Covid-19 patients. The team released an interesting paper on this topic very recently.

2) Viral diseases: Not much to explain here. Aside from preventing future viral pandemics, there are still quite some uncurable viruses out there like HIV, Herpes, ...

3) a bunch of rare diseases/disorders that receive little funding. Stuff like chronic inflammation, autoimmune diseases, ...

Of coure I believe curing cancer and Alzheimer's are important. I'd love the team to do a full simulation of p53 (mis)folding. But billions are already being invested in understanding these diseases. While antiobiotics get little attention because they are not very profitable. And there are bunch of chronic diseases out there that get very little funding.

Re: Folding@Home after Covid-19

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:17 pm
by JimboPalmer
[I am just a volunteer folder like yourself. I have no special insight into the F@H team]

The F@H folks are predominantly Academic Molecular Biochemists. To succeed in their careers, they must publish scientific papers in respected journals. They have suspended those research projects to treat COVID-19, which is noble of them, but they will need to publish their Doctoral thesis work soon. If they are employed by the University Publish or Perish is a real effect. we can't expect that they won't go back to their given academic career focus.

However, once they finish that research, THEN having a larger super computer can shape what projects they start well down the road.

Just my 2 cents.

Re: Folding@Home after Covid-19

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:21 pm
by Neil-B
This is a tough one … because whilst FAH may have the compute resource that might be able to be support many areas of research it is likely to be severely limited by the availability of researchers in the various fields who have both the funding to do the research (they will still need this) and the grounding/background in modelling to be able to make use of it … as someone posted in another thread "Researchers don't grow n trees".

FAH is a resource, not directly a funding vehicle … it can help researchers by providing compute resource they couldn't otherwise afford, but they still need to be funded in their fields.

Re: Folding@Home after Covid-19

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 3:50 am
by Tohya
Each lab that makes up the Folding@Home Consortium work on projects that the lab is focused on. If a lab focused on Antibiotic resistance were to join FAH, there would be projects on that.

Re: Folding@Home after Covid-19

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 3:59 am
by PantherX
I *think* that Dr. Greg has a personal and professional interest in Antiobiotic resistance so that could mean potentially more projects in the future. Of course, it would be great if there are few different causes and there's heaps of Projects for each so that Donors can select what they want. Maybe there can be a month for cause X (which gets rotated) if not a lot of donors select that category to ensure that all participating labs get treated equality and no protein is left behind :)

Re: Folding@Home after Covid-19

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 1:42 pm
by Jonazz
PantherX wrote:I *think* that Dr. Greg has a personal and professional interest in Antiobiotic resistance so that could mean potentially more projects in the future. Of course, it would be great if there are few different causes and there's heaps of Projects for each so that Donors can select what they want. Maybe there can be a month for cause X (which gets rotated) if not a lot of donors select that category to ensure that all participating labs get treated equality and no protein is left behind :)


Interesting idea, why don't you pass it on to the team :D

Re: Folding@Home after Covid-19

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 7:55 pm
by Joe_H
https://foldingathome.org/about/the-fol ... onsortium/ lists current and past participants in the F@h Consortium. There are some brief descriptions of the different labs research interests, and you can follow the links to the sites for the individual labs to get a more in depth view of their research.