Weekly Folding update

— 12:09 AM on January 18, 2005

Welcome back to the Folding update. We have a couple of items to tackle this week, but first, the weekly stats and links.

In past updates, we've taken a look at Parkinson's Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease. This week, we're going to hear some good news about progress the F@H project has made toward treating cancer.

A few days ago, Stanford University announced that its study of protein p53 has enabled scientists to predict how the protein folds. According to Stanford's press release, "Roughly half of all known cancers result from mutations in p53." Being able to predict which mutations might affect the protein's folding will help us understand how this mutation causes many different cancers. The article was published in the ScienceDirect Journal of Molecular Biology and is available to read here. I'm not going to pretend to understand everything that the article discusses, but writing the past few Folding updates dealing with Parkinson's and especially Alzheimer's has been very depressing. It is very timely that on the heels of those updates, I get to talk about some real progress being made toward fighting another horrible disease; one that touches almost everyone in some way. Feel free to visit our forum thread on the topic to exchange to electronic high fives with your fellow folders. A big thanks to TR folder PRIME1 for finding the press release on Stanford's site and letting us all know about it.

On the competition front, you may remember that we recently passed Team Rage3D. A month ago, we took an in-depth look at the Ragers and determined that they were not up to our challenge at that time. They overheard our conversation and begged to differ. We sort of wrote them off at that time. Not so fast. It seems that the Ragers top folder, 1920x1080i-How??? has decided to get back into Folding. How??? has 500+ processors at his disposal and before his vacation from Folding, was one of the top five folders in the world. Although we are still out-producing the Rage folks, his return makes Team Rage3D a force that we will need to keep an eye on. We fought hard to get to #7 in the world team rankings; let's not give it up just because some guy decided to get back into the game. Competition like this will only serve to help scientists make more discoveries like the one we discussed above.

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