Rocastle Remembered - An introduction
Article by Dr. Headgear
Updated Friday, 21st March 2003
On March the 31st 2001 Arsenal legend David "Rocky" Rocastle passed away. He was just thirty three years old and survived by his wife and three children. Rocky was struck down by non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.
About the Grid.org cancer research project
The Grid.org cancer research project is a distributed computing project – where millions of private PC users contribute their computers’ idle processing power to perfoming billions of chemical calculations designed to short-list chemicals for future labaoratory research. Each computer runs a small program that performs batches of calculations and periodically sends the results back to the main server, where they can be collated and used by researchers. The research is being conducted by the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford in England and the National Foundation for Cancer Research in the US. The computational power that can be acheived by the combined resources of private PC owners is far in excess of that which even the largest (and therefore most expensive) supercomputers can provide. The program uses sophisticted computational chemical modelling techniques to predict how various target proteins will react with various molecules. Each protein has been identified as having an importnat role in the devlopment of cancer. Hundreds of millions of molecules can be "tested" on these protein targets without the need for expensive laboratory work. Those that produce interesting results in the computer model can then be studied in more depth to determine if they could become part of a potential cancer treatment.
About the software
The Ligandfit UD agent program that runs the cancer research calculations is a small program that only uses your computers excess power. Most of us only use a tiny fraction of our PC's processing power - like driving a Ferrari at 5 miles an hour. The rest of this power just goes to waste. Ligandfit monitors your PC's available resources and only uses your spare processing power. That means that it doesn't disturb your work - or play - in the slightest. It can even be set to run only as a screensaver, only starting up when your computer is entirely idle. The software can be downloaded from Grid.org and is easy to install. It is safe, easy to use and entirly free. When you've installed the software you will be able to log on to the Grid.org site to check your personal results page. You can also create or join teams of members. If you wish to join the David Rocastle Remembered team and help commemorate a footballing legend then you will be more than welcome.