I would like to address of few of the concerns posted by m0002a.
In m00002a's first post, there was an unsupported exaggeration. m00002a claimed "significant harm to the environment" and yet m00002a knows nothing about the persons that posted nor how they fold, or even in what country they folded. As m00002a said, if they happened to be in France, not that much damage. Or if they owned solar panels. Or if they offset their FAH power usage by upgrading regular light bulbs to CFLs. Or as others in this thread mentioned, they used alternate forms of transportation, and had reduced their red meat consumption, etc. They could actually be helping the environment much more than the average person, and still be running FAH. m00002a simply has no basis to make this outlandish claim.
Next, asking 2 Bio-whatevers about FAH means very little when considering the large numbers of Bio-whatevers in the world. FAH doesn't have to be "world famous" to make positive contributions to science. 2 random guys you asked mean nothing to us, especially when you won't disclose those 2 Bio-WEs credentials. They could be Larry and Moe from the Bio-Institute of Stooges for all we know. You'll need to step up on that one or withdraw that claim. For example, my brother has a BS in EE, MS in CE, and PHD in Genetics. He is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, working in the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics lab. And my brother did not come to the same conclusion as m0002a's unmentioned Bio-dudes. He was impressed by the scale of the project, and that FAH had placed very well in several contests that predicted protein shapes using FAH software as compared to actual known shapes. He also expressed some concerns, but overall he liked the idea of the project. And he withheld any further conclusions without having done more research in to the project. An educated person does not just off-handedly shoot down a project without knowing more about it like m00002a's examples did.
Okay, next let's talk about Published papers.
1. Published papers are a measuring stick of scientific production as conducted by a research project. The papers are all "Peer Reviewed" before they are allowed to be published. That means other "Bio-whatevers" in the same scientific fields review the research, and have approved each paper as being valid. So at least 73 other Bio-whatevers disagree with m00002a's bio-dudes. And usually the peer review is a committee, so it's more like 2 or 3 times that 73 value. And as a measuring stick, [email protected]
has published more research paper than any other @home distributed computing project, and FAH is by no means the oldest project.
Most professors spend their entire research careers as an "associate professor." At a prestigious school like Stanford, only a small number of top professors ever become full professors. There are also a limited number of "department heads" to get that title. I also suggest you read a bit more
about what an associate professor is before you lambast them. Associate Professors are tenured positions. And how many people do you know that has a PHD from MIT? How many DC projects hold a world record for being the most powerful? 1! [email protected]
You should also read more about how papers are published.
Co-authorship is common. Grad students do not typically publish papers as a soloist.
2. One thing m00002a got right is that most of the published papers are about the science of simulating how proteins fold, not about folding actual proteins (although actual proteins has picked up as of late). This also demonstrates how little m00002a knows about the project. [email protected]
is not [email protected]
Folding's first goal, as defined on their project web site, is to understand how proteins fold, and misfold. FAH studies the process of how proteins get from A to Z, and how they break at G or R and cause Alzheimers or Cancer. Rosetta only tries to go from some point C to some other predicted point L, and doesn't care about anything else as long as they get to L. FAH has to learn to walk before they could run. FAH is now running.
3. The vast majority of the authors are from Stanford, because that is where the vast majority of the research is being done. This claim by m00002a also show's a short-sightedness in how research at the University level is conducted. But the research has grown from Stanford, to Notre Dame, Virginia, Hong Kong, and Sweden. FAH has project servers all over the world. And if you look at the project home page, FAH has top tier corporate supporters. Google, Intel, Apple, AMD, NVIDIA, Dell, etc. The corporation doesn't have to be on the research paper for it to be a good paper. Again, read WIKI on how papers are published.
4. I don't know what your hang-up on bio-chemists and bio-chemistry is, but you should seek professional help for that.
Okay, that's a cheap shot. Sorry. When FAH uses computer programming and physics algorithms to simulate a biological process, they tend to need more computer programmers and physics majors than bio-chemists. And FAH has all 3, so the composition of their research team does not concern me. Pande Group has associate appointments across multiple disciplines at Stanford. They can tap any kind of expertise they need at any time.
m00002a, in another post, claims to know what most bio-chemists think about simulating protein folding. One, I doubt m00002a is a mind reader, and two, does note have the resources to poll that many people. And again, shows a lack of knowledge about protein folding. Many proteins are so small, and fold so quickly in real life, that they cannot be studied in a test tube by a bio-chemist. Nor can a bio-chemist stick a microscope in to a human brain to watch proteins mis-fold and cause Alzheimers. Ask your bio-chemist friends... where, when, and on whom is the majority of Alzheimers research done! Where, in the morgue, after death, on dead people. That's where. Not a great place to watch live proteins do their thing.
m00002a, in several more posts, lists "suspicions" and "personal conclusions" all of which are unsupported. [email protected]
is a mix of computer science and bio-science. That does not preclude the project from doing good works on the Bio side of the equation. For example, my brother supervises research in human genomics. But the majority of the work is done on and by a computer. The genome sequencers are all computerized. The results are all computerized in to a huge relational database of thousands of volunteers, and they do data mining on the strings of proteins looking for genetic markers, or combinations of markers that potentially cause specific diseases. It's the bigger hammer approach, but they can only study a handful of genes at any one time, otherwise the database gets too large to produce meaningful data.
Anyway, m00002a makes interesting assumptions, and claims to have correct conclusions, but again, almost none of it is supported or backed up with actual data in any way. And when one of m00002a's claims is refuted with actual data, m00002a falls back to one of the other unsupported yet unrefuted claims. Repeating the same personal conclusions over and over does not make them any truer.
I got a big laugh where m00002a mentions "left wing ideologues" and "religious allegiance" in the same post. It's rather ironic.
I also find it humorous the whole second page of this thread is m00002a repeating the same things over and over. Associate professor this, and only computer science that, and ask a fellow bio-whatever. False arguments repeated again and again. m00002a, PLEASE read through that WIKI material I linked. Dr. Pande got his PHD 15 years ago, yes. But you try to make it sound like all 15 years has been at Stanford, and that someone should have been a full professor in all that time. And that's not true. Dr. Pande did post-doctoral work at MIT through 1999. Then at UC Berkeley for a few years, and on and on. Dr. Pande has worked on multiple projects in the last 15 years. Only 10 at Stanford.
Another unsupported claim was that Dr. Pande wasn't like well by peers because he was still an associate professor. Okay, here is the real proof that he is
well liked. Dr. Pande was an assistant professor for 5 years at Stanford. And then was PROMOTED to associate professor of Chemistry. And in the last 5 years, has been given 3 more Assistant Professor titles, and 2 more Associate Professorships, in Structural Biology and Computer Science. One does not advance at a Uni like Stanford unless you are doing well. Again, read a little Wikipedia...
And again, the all bio-chemists claim that FAH is BS has grown to "all scientists" in a later post. Wow. That's serious BS. Again, this was unsupported drivel.
And the one time m00002a actually posted real information (about clinical trials) it had absolutely nothing to do with FAH. Folding doesn't produce drugs. Folding doesn't do clinical trials. And any information produced by Folding would be shared openly, for the drug companies to do with as they please. That's why all these claims about a lack of a big pharma presence on the FAH team is such BS. Folding isn't about drug research. Folding is about figuring out how diseases work on the most fundamental biological scale. And once that is figured out, Pharma can swoop in and start building a drug to fit the data.
Because it is burning up the planet and creating energy shortages which cause collateral geo-political problems. Maybe if we generated 80% of our electricity from nuclear like France, it would not be a problem, but that is not the case in the USA.
The only usefulness of [email protected]
is to generate grant money to prove that it can be done. This is what we call "hammer looking for a nail." Someone (or something) is going to be hurt when the hammer starts swinging for no good reason other than to prove that the hammer works.
Such outlandish unsupported claims. One might think that m00002a was an anti-cultist. FAH is a drop in the ocean compared to all energy usage. FAH is NOT burning up the planet. And FAH is a world wide project. One of the top 10 teams is from France, so at least in part, they are using a lot of nuclear energy.
And the hammer looking for a nail is a funny analogy. It might have applied if the project were only a year or two old. Or was 5 years old, but grants and participation were decreasing. But after 10 years, with grants increasing, and participation increasing, the hammer has clearly found the nail, nailed it squarely on the head, and driven it home.
Finally, I could not have summarized this better than NeilBlanchard ...
I strongly suspect that [m00002a] is taking the intellectually lazy path of sanctimonious criticism of other people's choices, merely to justify  preconceived notions