Two weeks ago, I found out about Folding@home, and have been running it since then.
Today I finally got around to googling it a bit (exam period is over), and here is what I found:
- A 2011 post by gwern that explains why it might be harmful, and points out that Rosetta@home seems like a better option. (There is also some discussion about gwern's post in LessWrong).
- A 2012 reddit page with a top-voted answer that says that Folding@home unequivocally helped developing drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease.
- A 2015 quora page in which two Stanford people highly praise Folding@home.
- A 2016 quora page in which it is pointed out that Folding@home influenced the development of Markov State Models (MSMs).
- A 2017 quora page with an offensive criticism of gwern's post, whose main point (IIUC) is that gwern underestimated the potential of understanding protein folding.
- According to Wikipedia's Folding@home page and the official website of Rosetta@home, the projects run 98.7 petaFLOPS and 270 teraFLOPS respectively, so Folding@home is (roughly speaking) 365 times faster. (FLOPS stands for 'floating point operations per second', i.e., how fast you can do arithmetic of real numbers.)
So what do you think? Is running Folding@home beneficial? Is running Rosetta@home more beneficial? Or maybe running either is harmful?