Hashing out the cure
Genetics Loads the Gun, but Environment Pulls the Trigger
– Dr. Elliot Joslin
INFORMATION + RESOURCES
Counterparty – FLDC’s platform
FoldingCoin and Curecoin are two research projects dedicated to solving complex protein folding problems with the power of the blockchain. The projects merged mining pools in 2015. FoldingCoin has existed as the Stanford Folding@Home project since the early 2000’s and added cryptocurrency rewards later on with the Counterparty platform. Curecoin, launched early 2014, is complementary to the FoldingCoin platform. Users can earn rewards for both, proportional to their contribution.
Why are these projects so significant? Proteins are highly complex amino acid chains, constructed by our genes. They perform all kinds of functions in the body from DNA replication to aiding with metabolism. These are essential structures in the body yet are the most complex molecules we know of. The amino acid arrangement and the shape of a folded protein decides it properties. Only a computer can reasonably test all the combinations.
Specific proteins are noticed in diseases like cancer, and unlocking the secrets to how the molecular structures of the many types of the disease form could mean finding a cure. In fact most degenerative diseases may be able to be cured this way since they’re all strongly linked to incorrect protein folding. There are impossible amounts of combinations these proteins can end up in, all with impossible amounts of chemical effects, so finding any combination with properties that mirror real world proteins is a serious achievement. The Curecoin founder, Joshua Smith, believes all diseases may be cured using these kinds of algorithms to solve disease structures.
The projects are still small and without much recent coverage but are very well developed and easy to adopt. They are seeing much financial growth as with most cryptocurrencies lately, and both can be traded on a few exchanges. A closely related project is Gridcoin, another growing blockchain research computing project that rewards miners for their work. Einsteinium is another smaller project dedicated to scientific funding.
This is what we should be doing with our collective processing power…
Future: End all disease?