FightAIDS@Home is a project of the Olson laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute that uses volunteer computing technology which allows you to contribute your device's idle resources to accelerate research into new drug therapies for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
All you need to do to join FightAIDS@Home is download and install the free software. Once that has been done, your device is then automatically put to work, but you can also continue using it as normal. Click here to get started.
At any one time, the project uses one of two software docking tools to automatically download small pieces of work to your device and performs calculations that model how drugs interact with various HIV virus mutations. After your device processes the information, the results are sent back to World Community Grid and then sent on to The Scripps Research Institute where they are analyzed by the Scripps research team. The process takes an enormous amount of computing time, which is why World Community Grid needs you (and your friends!) to participate in FightAIDS@Home project.
Your device will contribute to whatever projects you choose; however, only certain projects will be available for mobile devices. You can select from the projects currently active at World Community Grid by visiting the My Projects page. There you can view all available projects, and choose those in which you want to participate.
AutoDock and Vina are automated docking software tools. They are designed to predict how a small molecule, such as a substrate or drug candidate, binds to a receptor molecule of known 3D structure. In the context of this project, these docking tools are being used to find potential drug compounds which may inhibit the HIV-1 protease (a protein which encourages and controls the progression of the virus).
The two software programs use different algorithms, each of which may provide better results depending on the types of molecules being docked. The FightAIDS@Home project uses both software tools in its calculations: the Scripps researchers determine ahead of time which software package is more suited to the particular task at hand, and the selected software for those work units then runs on World Community Grid. The project may therefore switch back and forth between the two software packages depending on its needs. As a contributor to the FightAIDS@Home project, you may notice either of those software packages being run for this project, each of which has a unique screen saver (see below for details on both screen savers).