Talk:1430: Proteins

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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If this comic has motivated anyone to join in with the Folding@Home project, you can get started here. --Pudder (talk) 09:28, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

I've been folding for about a year now. Before that it was the SETI@Home project - but I decided to switch to something that could have more direct and beneficial results. Jarod997 (talk) 13:58, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Is there an xkcd team on any of the distributed computing projects? Or does someone want to put one together? Nealmcb (talk) 22:02, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
I would like to join a team RecentlyChanged (talk)
That link sends me to a "site can't be reached" thing. I googled "Folding@Home" and got a different website ( but I also don't participate in folding@Home so I don't know if this is real or not. Tsumikiminiwa (talk) 04:10, 17 August 2022 (UTC)

This comic has some similarities to 1425: Tasks. It can be difficult for the public (or experts for that matter) to grasp the complexity of a task for a computer. --Pudder (talk) 09:13, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Surely if you were folding yourself a crane out of paper then you would need to fold yourself a pair of scissors in order to be able to make cuts. -- 10:27, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Surely the "pull the tail" is referring to the flapping bird origami, which is similar to the crane but lacks one set of folds that make the figure narrower. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Thanks for adding that "your actually donating your electricity" part - I had not considered it to that extent. I realized that the program is using more CPU/GPU "loading" while the screen saver is active, but for some reason I didn't translate that into more money out via my electricity bill. :) Jarod997 (talk) 13:58, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

No mention yet of the fact that Megan (and Randall) thinks this is the hardest problem! I have added some where it only aims at other science questions. But she did not say anything about science. Solving all human crises like overpopulation, climate, pollution, hunger, war and death could also be seen as either several or just one (unified) problem. She would then still think her problem harder... Should that be added as well in some form? I will leave that for others to decide. Kynde (talk) 18:31, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

I think it is clear that Megan means computational problems - unifying gravity or solving human crises have not been reduced to computational terms - so the comparison is not appropriate and the comment in the explaination is unwarranted. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The Title Text made me think of Rembrandt's painting The Anatomy Lesson, where the lecturer was pulling a tendon in a cadaver's forearm, making a finger move. It might make an appropriate metaphor: Today's scientists are taking baby steps in learning the "anatomy" of proteins through trial and error, much like the scholars of the past deciphering the basics of the human anatomy. Aiw (talk) 21:38, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

I think the last few paragraphs about the simulation program and cpu cycles are unnecessary. Perhaps create a trivia section? Benjaminikuta (talk) 04:51, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

I agree, they don't really contribute anything to the explanation, but are somewhat related. --Pudder (talk) 07:52, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

I agree, too. Perhaps move them to comments section. Anyway, there's a Game with a purpose on a similar topic, RNA folding EteRNA. It's a little strange to play because the underlying reality is unusual, but interesting and somehow trickily entertaining. --MGitsfullofsheep (talk) 11:06, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Serious TED talk "protein folding problem: a major conundrum of science": Jorgbrown (talk) 20:52, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Serious TED talk about advanced math making detailed Origami figurines by doing nothing but folding => Jorgbrown (talk) 20:59, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Going to start using the Folding@Home Chrome web applet. Having seen the mentions here of forming an xkcd/explainxkcd team, I'm all for it! Boct1584 (talk) 01:46, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

I find this explanation a bit too technical. For all I know, there's no simpler way to explain this. Not going to add an incomplete tag, but maybe someone someday will see this and try to fix it. 22:26, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

I wonder if we could theoretically prevent computers from becoming self-aware by inputting a line that makes any processing power that is not being used work on folding@home or work on finding prime numbers or something. Then that line of code could be linked to a boolean that allows the computer to do something vital, like this: bool a=false; int pr; some kind of function that only uses any idle memory{ while (true){ if (pr is prime){print pr; a=true;} else {pr++; a=true:} } a=false} } if (a==true){computer works} That way, if the computer tries to comment out something, it stops working and I might be overthinking this. RedHatGuy68 (talk) 02:12, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

No idea how this works, but I'm going to try to comment. When I read this the first time I thought they were talking about the construction type of crane. 03:29, 9 January 2023 (UTC)

I'm not adding any useful comment, except to say that you did comment very well. Bottom-posted, added the signature, etc... Better than some do. Be proud of yourself. (And I understand your mental mismatch, even though I didn't go down the same garden path as you.) 12:23, 9 January 2023 (UTC)