The results of a distributed computing initiative have made their first appearance in a scientific journal.
Researchers mapped a 'folding' sequence of proteins using thousands of computers connected through the internet.
According to Nature it is the first time that data processed with distributed computing has been used to back a scientific theory.
Part of a project by Stanford University scientists Christopher Snow and Vijay Pande, the data shows the complex process that a sequence of proteins uses to achieve its unique, 3D shape.
Explaining this process could lead to greater understanding of diseases.
When the proteins don't 'fold' properly they can clump together, forming aggregates in the brain that have been observed in patients with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other degenerative conditions.
The data was compiled using more than 30,000 PCs linked to the [email protected] scheme by special screensaver software.
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