How it works?
Figure 1. Download and install FAH application.
The concept of Distributed Computing that powers FAH and other projects to help solve world’s pressing problems
Figure 2. Distributed Computing
There are different messaging mechanisms for distributed computing which may includes http, RPC and message queues. Implementation architecture also varies and falls into one of the following architectures:
· Client-server: It is the simplest form of architecture in which client request and server executing or some way of fulfilling the request. FAH implementation is a good example of client server architecture that uses RPC connectors for communications. A client server architecture could be two tier or three-tier depending upon the implementation.
· N-tier: This architecture also known as multi-tier mainly comprises of applications servers for which processing is performed through different computing systems as depicted in figure 2 (above).
· Peer-to-Peer (P2P): The P2P is a form of client-server distributed system is which every node can be either server or client depending upon the task. Filesharing and blockchain implementations are good examples of P2P deployments. SETI@home project uses P2P communication and computation.
· Cluster Computing: It is a “High Performance Distributed Computing” (HPDC) model in which distributed computing techniques are applied to the solution of computationally intensive applications across networks of computers. Cluster computing can be either distributed or parallel in implementation.
What FAH is doing for the research of COVID-19?
Simply put FAH is assisting researchers through simulating of druggable design of protein target to combat COVID-19. As of today, FAH has released initial wave of projects simulating potentially druggable protein targets from SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and the related SARS-CoV virus . These projects help scientist better understand how coronaviruses interact with human ACE2 receptor (also known as angiotensin converting enzyme 2). According to studies of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) demonstrated that the respiratory tract is a major site of SARS-coronavirus (CoV) infection and disease morbidity for which ACE2 is the viral entry point to human cell [8; 9]. Similar observations are also made for the virus infections of COVID-19. Hence, work at FAH is of great importance because FAH initiative helps researchers better understand how COVID19 interact with ACE2 and how researchers might be able to interfere with them through the design of new therapeutic antibodies or small molecules that might disrupt their interaction.
With collaboration and partnership of various labs, researchers and some of the new structural biology and biochemical data available at bioRxiv and chemRxiv, Folding@home hopes to help researchers better understand COVID-19 and how it interact with ACE2 receptor in a process to fight the virus. For further details, please read https://foldingathome.org/2020/03/10/covid19-update/ .
Back to COVID-19: computational biology in a nutshell
1. CDC, 2020. Key facts: Know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors. National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases. Available online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/share-facts.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fshare-facts.html
2. Wikipedia, 2020. Folding@home. Wikipedia. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folding@home.
3. ScienceDirect, 2020. Distributed Computing. Science Direct. Available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/computer-science/distributed-computing
4. Wikipedia, 2020. Protein Folding. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_folding .
5. Meller, J. 2001. Molecular Dynamics. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences: Nature Publishing Group. Available https://dasher.wustl.edu/chem430/readings/md-intro-1.pdf .
6. FAH, 2020. Papers and Results. Folding@Home. Available online at https://foldingathome.org/papers-results/
7. BOINC, 2020. Compute for Science. BOINC. Available at https://boinc.berkeley.edu/ .
8. FAH, 2020. FOLDING@HOME UPDATE ON SARS-COV-2 (10 MAR 2020). Folding@Home. Available https://foldingathome.org/2020/03/10/covid19-update/ .
9. Jia et al, 2005. Jia, P.H., Look, C.D., Shi, L., Hickey, M., Pewe, L., Netland, J., Farzan, M., Wohlford-Lenane, C., Perlman, S. & McCray, B. P., 2005. ACE2 Receptor Expression and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection Depend on Differentiation of Human Airway Epithelia. Journal of Virology, American Society for Microbiology (ASM).
10. Everts, S., 2017. Protein folding: Much more intricate than we thought. C & EN. Available at https://cen.acs.org/articles/95/i31/Protein-folding-Much-intricate-thought.html .
11. Mathi, S. 2020. You Can Help Fight Coronavirus by Giving Scientists Access to Your Computer. Available at https://onezero.medium.com/you-can-help-fight-coronavirus-by-giving-scientists-access-to-your-computer-16c39c2e7164 .