by Kevin Hemenway
Related link: http://toolbar.google.com/dc/faq_dc.html
If you've got Google's Toolbar installed in Internet Explorer, they've added a wonderful new feature: distributed computing. From their FAQ:
"By turning on this feature, you allow your computer to work on complex scientific problems when it would otherwise be idle. The work it does is automatically sent via the Internet to researchers who combine it with information sent by thousands of other users.
The first beneficiary of this effort is Folding@home, a non-profit research project at Stanford University that is trying to understand the structure of proteins so they can develop better treatments for a number of illnesses."