News > Virtual grid to help battle AIDS

Added on 23-Nov-2005

A program called World Community Grid uses computer power of as many people as possible to help commute information for the world's problems. The current project is to help find a treatment for AIDS.Information technology company IBM has launched a research effort to help battle AIDS using the computational power of World Community Grid, a global community of computer users who have joined the philanthropic technology initiative by donating unused time on their personal computers. With computational power already placing it among the top 10 supercomputers in the world, World Community Grid will be the first virtual supercomputer devoted specifically to AIDS research.

Working with the Scripps Research Institute, a private, not-for-profit biomedical science research organisation based in San Diego, World Community Grid will host its second major project: the internet-based FightAIDS@Home is an evolutionary research project dedicated to finding new AIDS therapies.

The World Community Grid initiative will deploy computer power to develop chemical strategies effective in the treatment of HIV-infected individuals to respond to evolving drug resistance in the virus. Developing therapies to prevent the onset of AIDS in individuals infected with HIV will be the focus of the Olson Laboratory project at The Scripps Research Institute.

World Community Grid offers individuals, businesses, foundations, associations, universities and not-for-profit organisations the opportunity to donate the idle and unused time on a computer by downloading World Community Grid's free software and registering at its website. Some 100,000 individuals are now volunteering power from 170,000 computers to help find a cure for AIDS through World Community Grid.

The goal of FightAIDS@Home is to design new therapeutic approaches that are effective in the treatment of AIDS in the face of viral drug resistance. The pool of potential drug molecules, as well as that of possible mutant HIV proteins that may evolve, is enormous. World Community Grid's computing power will address the prediction of relevant interactions between these two pools of molecules to design effective AIDS therapies.

FightAIDS@Home is the second project that takes advantage of the computational power offered by World Community Grid. In the past year, the Human Proteome Folding Project on World Community Grid has produced a database that describes the structure of approximately 120,000 protein domains that could not be described using traditional approaches. Using only the supercomputers at the Institute for Systems Biology, it would have taken about 100 years to compute the protein structures that took World Community Grid one year.

Submitted by: Royal Blue

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