Gridcoin Science: FightAIDS@Home - Finding a cure, one protein at the time

in gridcoin •  last year

A Gridcoin Network Approved Project

What is AIDS/HIV

AIDS stands for "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome." AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV — the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. When a human body is infected with HIV, it will work to fight the infection by making "antibodies," special molecules that are supposed to fight HIV.

Having HIV disease — or being HIV-positive — is not the same as having AIDS. Many people live with HIV, and do not get sick for many years. However, because the human body cannot generate antibodies that can eradicate HIV, as HIV disease continues, it slowly wears down the immune system, infecting key cells of the immune system and impairing their function or even destroying them. Eventually, HIV infection results in progressive depletion of the immune system, leading to "immune deficiency."


FightAIDS@Home is working on finding ways to target and break down the protein shell of the HIV virus (called capsid). Without the protein shell the virus is exposed and targetable. As of today there are no viable way of targeting and breaking down this protein shell, and more research is needed.

Phase 1 : Finding viable compounds

In the first phase the project screened viable compounds with promising and potential effectiveness. Finding this is very difficult in itself because the virus is a sloppy copier, meaning that when they replicate they do so without making sure that everything is exactly the same. This makes the virus slightly different and generates many variations of the virus.

Phase 1 is still running after they reopened to find more viable compounds

621 million docking simulations

This project is huge, testing a library of roughly 1.6 million commercially available compounds in the first phase. The total amount of docking simulations is a staggering 621 million. With about 46% done so far, we have a few more to test to say the least.

Their research website posts much information about the project status and the research technical details

Different level of the capsid protein structure

Image Credit: Pierrick Craveur

Phase 2 : Screening and refining

The second phase takes all the most promising compounds from the first phase and runs them trough a different simulation process to further refine the results. This phase has now started to search for novel drugs targeting the HIV-1 mature capsid protein.

Phase 2

Goals for FightAIDS@Home

There are some goals set by the project, the main goal being to make lab testing and screening reduced. With the project doing most of the work any other lab can save money and time in searching trough a library of already tested compounds. The second goal is to find new ways to do virtual screening and expand the knowledge about the process, making it easier to find techniques for finding cures for other dieses as well.

By participating in the FightAIDS@Home project you are not only searching for a cure to AIDS and HIV, you are also expanding the knowledge of techniques and databases of tests for others to use!

Possible thanks to people running their BOINC Application

The possibility to screen all the viable compunds is only possible thanks to all the people running the BOINC application. So far people have donated a total amount of CPU cycles compared to about:

350 988 years to Phase 1
38 964 years to Phase 2

Every day these two projects are getting CPU cycles compared to about:

82 years per Day to Phase 1
62 years per Day to Phase 2

Read more about FightAIDS@Home

If you are interested in learning more about this project and their work in general there are some very good articles to read about it.

FightAIDS@Home - Phase 1
FightAIDS@Home - Phase 2
FightAIDS@Home Team Re-Opens Phase 1
FightAIDS@Home Team Expands Techniques, Refines Phase 1 Results, and Collaborates on a New Study
FightAIDS@Home Targeting a Key HIV Protein

FightAIDS@Home Website

What is Gridcoin?

Gridcoin is a cryptocurrency which securely rewards BOINC computation (volunteer distributed computing projects which attempt to cure diseases, map the milkyway, search for extraterrestrial life, etc) on top of proof of stake.

Anyone can create a BOINC project to create a distributed cloud service of their own desire, we can reward your users on your behalf as opposed to you paying for computation up front.

Don't forget to visit the #Gridcoin substeemit! Plenty of text based content being created there every day!

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Great work!

I mined Gridcoin early in 2014. Happy to see that the Project survived and grew stronger :) one of the projects that made and makes sense in Crypto.

Hi, could you, please, advise the recommended amount of the coins needed to stake at least once a week (afair - 10000?), and where to find info how to choose BOINC projects depending on the hardware.

I'm asking 'cause of the small discussion about $GRC on


50k stakes daily for me, so 10k will probably stake once a week.




ie Proof-of-Research rewards?
Am I right that frequency of all types of rewards (PoS and PoR as well) are dependant on the amount of coins in the wallet?


Yes, when you stake a block you earn your POR reward at the same time.

Thanks for posting on this and raising awareness of #BOINC and Gridcoin. Upvoted, resteemed, and followed!

I just started playing around with gridcoin last night. Was up until 3am last night learning stuff. :)

Question about the data:

When I look at World Community Grid, I see -1 and -1 for WUs available and in progress. What does that mean? That's the project I happened to join. I'm just playing around with my Macbook Air laptop, so it's probably pointless to think I could get anything meaningful done as far as BOINC goes. Should I not bother or should I try to find a project which doesn't have many people on it? I have about 35k gridcoin and I saw your note about 50k staking every day. How big is the stake reward? I'm looking at stuff like this but it seems the outputs are all different. It's based on a 1.5% annual reward, right? Also, from what I was reading, it seems like once your coins stake, they have to age again to stake the next time. If that's true, do people often just turn off their node after staking since there's no incentive to keep it running until they can stake again?

Any other places you suggest I go for more info? I'm learning a lot. I really like the idea of a cryptocoin that actually helps improve the world in tangible ways. :)


Welcome @lukestokes!

Nice to have you here.

  1. The reason that WCG is -1 in the list is because they don't have any Work Unity progress page like most other BOINC projects. We simply have nothing to display.
  2. 35k GRC should suffice to stake daily what I know of.
  3. The stake reward is indeed 1.5% of your coins per year.
  4. The research reward is a little more complicated, you should look in my ELI5 post I did yesterday about Gridcoin, it explains it in a simple manner.
  5. You can read more by browsing the #gridcoin tag here, or the Wiki at

If you want to chat with others we have an IRC channel, a Telegram Group, a Forum, a Slack channel among others.


Thank you!

I'll check out your post and keep learning. Hopefully I can understand this enough to do a post for my followers at some point.