Running the Folding@Home software in the background on your PC is one of the easiest, most effortless way you can make a lasting contribution to medical research - alongside donating to the MPrize for anti-aging research, of course. The study of protein folding via distributed computation helps to advance Alzheimer's and Parkinson's research, amongst others:
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is caused by the aggregation of relatively small (42 amino acid) proteins, called Abeta peptides. These proteins form aggregates which even in small clumps appear to be toxic to neurons and cause neuronal cell death involved in Alzheimer's Disease and the horrible neurodegenerative consequences.
We have many calculations being performed on AD. Our primary goals are the prediction of AD aggregate structure for rational drug design approaches as well as further insight into how AD aggregates form kinetically (hopefully paving the way for a method to stop the AD aggregate formation).
As you may recall, I sent around some momentos when the team hit rank 500 last year. I'll do it again at rank 200, so consider that an incentive and challenge - sign up for the team and get folding for better biotechnology and medical science!