Only a few years ago, scientists completed a draft sequence of the Human Genome. While our genes are an amazing repository of information, knowing the genes is only the beginning. It is the proteins made from these genes that actually carry out all the functions that keep us alive.
However, scientists still do not know the functions of a large fraction of human proteins. With an understanding of how each protein affects human health, scientists can develop new cures for human disease.
Huge amounts of data exist that can identify the role of individual proteins, but it must be analyzed to be useful. This analysis could take years to complete on super computers. World Community Grid hopes to shrink this time to months.
Proteins are long and disordered chains folded into globs. The number of shapes that proteins can fold into is enormous. Searching through all of the possible shapes to identify the correct function of an individual protein is a tremendous challenge.
The Human Proteome Folding project will provide scientists with data that predicts the shape of a very large number of human proteins. These predictions will give scientists the clues they need to identify the biological functions of individual proteins within the human body. With an understanding of how each protein affects human health, scientists can develop new cures for human diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, SARS, and malaria.
Visit the About the Project page for a non-scientist description of proteins and how World Community Grid folds proteins using the agent software on your PC.
ISB designed the Human Proteome Folding project for World Community Grid and will use the results within its larger research efforts.