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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Top Researchers Ask Web Users to Join Science Grid

IBM and top scientific research organizations are joining forces in a humanitarian effort to tap the unused power of millions of computers and help solve complex social problems. The World Community Grid will seek to tap the vast underutilized power of computers belonging to individuals and businesses worldwide and channel it into selected medical and environmental research programs. Volunteers will be asked to download a program to their computers that runs when the machine is idle and reaches out to request data to contribute to research projects. Organizers say the Grid can help unlock genetic codes that underlie diseases like AIDS, HIV, Alzheimer's or cancer, improve forecasting of natural disasters and aid studies to protect the world's food and water supply. The massive volunteer project will be unveiled Tuesday by Sam Palmisano, CEO,IBM,the world's largest computer company, along with United Nations officials, researchers from the Mayo Clinic, Oxford University and South Africa, and others."This is not just a project for techno-geeks," said Jonathan Eunice, an analyst with research firm Illuminata of Nashua, New Hampshire, who was briefed on the scope of the plan. The project is designed to handle up to 10 million participants, or more, if demand is greater, IBM said.
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