There is no reliable cure or vaccine for the prevention and treatment of all forms of malaria—particularly the drug-resistant strains caused by Plasmodium falciparum, which kills more people than any other parasite and is of particular interest to the researchers.
Scripps Research and IBM are encouraging anyone in the world with a personal computer to join World Community Grid, which will crunch numbers and perform simulations for GO Fight against Malaria. World Community Grid, an initiative of the IBM International Foundation, 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.
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 more quickly 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.
- PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Arthur Olson, Molecular Biology Professor
- SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: Scripps Research
- DATES: Ongoing
- PROJECT TYPE: Data Processing
- COST: Free
- GRADE LEVEL: All Ages
- TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
HOW TO JOIN:
Visit the World Community Grid's Web site and register. Citizen scientists will then download and install software onto their PCs that enables the grid to tap into unused computing power.