[Paleopsych] physorg: 'Fold here,' say 130,000 computers

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Sun Aug 28 00:15:26 UTC 2005

'Fold here,' say 130,000 computers

It's already made computations equal to a single PC running continuously for 
more than 14,000 years. It has 83,000 human members and more than 130,000 
machines. It may be among the 20 largest "computers" in the world. It's World 
Community Grid. Announced in November, World Community Grid is simple in 
concept: harness some of the unused computing power of the world's 650 million 

To join, anyone with Internet access simply downloads a secure, free, and small 
software program onto their laptop or home computer. Then with World Community 
Grid's agent running in the background of each PC, the project applies massed 
computing power to math-intensive research that will unlock genetic codes 
underlying diseases such as cancer, HIV and Alzheimer's. It's a model similar 
to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), but with a more down to 
earth focus. As one headline writer put it: Forget aliens; cure malaria.

Currently World Community Grid is running research for the Human Proteome 
Folding Project. Knowing the shapes of proteins will help researchers 
understand how proteins do the work they're supposed to and how diseases stop 
proteins from maintaining healthy cells. The versatile grid can also take aim 
at HIV and AIDS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), malaria and other 
diseases. And grid applications can help researchers and scientists with 
earthquake warnings, improving crop yields and evaluating the supply of 
critical natural resources like water. The organization is accepting proposals 
for other research projects.

IBM donated the hardware, software, technical services and expertise to build 
the infrastructure for World Community Grid and provides free hosting, 
maintenance and support.

"We're taking IBM's innovative on demand grid technology - the same technology 
we share with customers - and applying it to humanitarian issues about which 
the world cares. We look forward to working with our employees, customers and 
the public to execute this exciting vision," said Stanley S. Litow, vice 
president of IBM Corporate Community Relations and president of the IBM 
International Foundation.

World Community Grid also continues to build a network of dedicated partners 
who encourage their employees, members, students and faculty to join. Along 
with IBM, other partners include United Devices, Semiconductor Industry 
Association, United Way of New York City, the Center for Corporate Citizenship 
at Boston College and Information Technology Association of Canada.

You can join at http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/

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