I copied the following answer by Vijay Pande from here. Posted earlier today. "I think the question of validity is an important one and one we have spent a lot of time to address. The problem with explaining the details here are that they are technical in nature. You could read our papers http://folding.stanford.edu/papers.html but that is definitely techical. However, all the papers are peer reviewed, so you can rest assured that others have asked the same questions and answered them. In fact, many of our papers are in top tier journals (Science, Nature, etc), which makes the validation part all the more important. You could also look to other evaluations of Folding@Home, such as our awards we've received: http://folding.stanford.edu/awards.html The most recent one came from the protein society, which said "The Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award, sponsored by Merck Research Laboratories, recognizes a significant contribution to the study of proteins by a scientist who is in the early stages of an independent career and, generally, not more than 40 years of age at the time of the award. The 2006 awardee is Dr. Vijay Pande (Stanford University) for his unique approach to employing advances in algorithms that make optimal use of distributed computing, which places his efforts at the cutting edge of simulations. The results have stimulated a re-examination of the meaning of both ensemble and single-molecule measurements, making Dr. Pande?s efforts pioneering contributions to simulation methodology." Awards are always for the work done in the past of course and it's the future that's most exciting to us. In the next few months, our first work on Alzheimer's and Huntington's Diseases will be coming out (both papers are under peer review right now), joining our papers out already on p53 (for cancer). We are moving to make more and more direct predictions relevant to these diseases, as well as to develop novel small molecule therapeutics. It's a long way from a small molecule lead to a drug (lots of testing which can't be done on FAH), but this is *very* applied, as we are doing the first steps of drug design on FAH, hopefully pushing many years ahead of what could have been done without FAH. So, we are doing both basic research and applied. The basic is important for us to learn about particular biomedically relevant systems or to test our methods. The applied work is the culmination of all of this, hopefully, eventually, in drugs to attack the diseases we've all been working on together as a part of FAH."