For the last five years, Stanford University worked with Sony to bring Folding@Home, a protein folding program that does research for Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and many cancers, will be retired as part of a few Life with Playstation services being closed down. Over the years the team at Stanford have collected a lot of data thanks to Playstation and the users who ran this program.
The PS3 system was a game changer for Folding@home, as it opened the door for new methods and new processors, eventually also leading to the use of GPUs. We have had numerous successes in recent years. Specifically, in a paper just published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, we report on tests of predictions from earlier Folding@home simulations, and how these predictions have led to a new strategy to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
The next steps, now underway at Stanford, are to take this lead compound and help push it towards a viable drug. It’s too early to report on our preliminary results there, but I’m very excited that the directions set out in this paper do appear to be bearing fruit in terms of a viable drug (not just a drug candidate).
Over 15 million users have participated in the program with over 100 million computation hours racked up. The shutdown will happen on Oct 23rd when version 4.30 is released. For more information on the update, check the Playstation website here.