IBM’s Watson computing system defeated two human competitors on the Jeopardy! game show and the Scripps Research Institute is hoping to find a cure for drug-resistant malaria with part of the prize money—and they are asking for the public’s help.
Scripps Research and IBM are encouraging anyone with a personal computer to join World Community Grid, a “supercomputer of the people” that will crunch numbers and perform simulations for “GO Fight Against Malaria”—the project that Scripps Research and IBM have launched.
World Community Grid is fed by spare computing power from the nearly two million PCs that have been volunteered so far by 575,000 people in more than 80 countries. It gives each PC small computing assignments to perform when the devices aren’t otherwise being used by its owners, then sends the results to scientists seeking a faster way to cure disease, find renewable energy materials, create clean water techniques, or develop healthier food staples.
Scripps Research, which has already used World Community Grid to discover two HIV inhibitors to advance the treatment of multi-drug-resistant AIDS, is taking on the malaria project, as well. By tapping into World Community Grid, Scripps Research scientists hope to compress 100 years of computations normally necessary for the effort into just one year. The scientists will use this resource to evaluate millions of compounds that may advance the development of drugs to cure mutant, drug-resistant strains of malaria. Data from the experiments will then be made available to the public.
Release Date: Nov. 18, 2011
Source: Scripps Research Institute