Yesterday IBM and the U of Texas announced that they were working together to use the World Community Grid in the fight against flu. Of course this is getting attention right now thanks to H1N1, commonly known as “swine flu.”
World Community Grid will run virtual chemistry experiments to determine which of the millions of small molecules can attach to the influenza virus and inhibit it from spreading. The computer predication can then be tested in the laboratory and clinic, which are the next phases in developing drugs for the marketplace. All of the results will be made freely available to other researchers studying influenza.
…World Community Grid is the largest public humanitarian grid in existence, with an 415,000-plus members linking more than one million computers. However, this represents only a fraction of the estimated one billion computers worldwide that could be used for medical breakthroughs. If more computers were contributing to the effort, the research could progress faster and more research projects, even those requiring the largest supercomputers, could be added.