Giving some of my computer time for science


A post from TreeHugger got me thinking : why wouldn’t I give some of my computer time to help advancing research ? I had written about this almost three years ago, and being looking for a job, I often have a computer running.

So, a month ago, on August 2nd, I started gathering information on The World Community Grid, how it works and how I can help. One of the thing that got me considered this was that IBM is sponsoring the project.

My two-year old computer (based on an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400) is now running calculations that will help finding better solar panels, better water filtration systems and fight cancers and AIDS.

As the official website notes :

Here is a smart way of benefiting humanity. Use your computer downtime to add power to World Community Grid. The more people join, the sooner we’ll find cures for diseases, alleviate hunger and combat climate change.

Here are the recaps on the projects I am partaking in :

The Clean Energy Project – Phase 2

The mission of The Clean Energy Project is to find new materials for the next generation of solar cells and later, energy storage devices. By harnessing the immense power of World Community Grid, researchers can calculate the electronic properties of hundreds of thousands of organic materials – thousands of times more than could ever be tested in a lab.

Computing for Clean Water

The mission of Computing for Clean Water is to provide deeper insight on the molecular scale into the origins of the efficient flow of water through a novel class of filter materials. This insight will in turn guide future development of low-cost and more efficient water filters.

Help Conquer Cancer

The mission of Help Conquer Cancer is to improve the results of protein X-ray crystallography, which helps researchers not only annotate unknown parts of the human proteome, but importantly improves their understanding of cancer initiation, progression and treatment.

FightAIDS@Home

FightAIDS@Home is the first biomedical distributed computing project ever launched. It is run by the Olson Laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. FightAIDS@Home, which has been run independently by the Olson Laboratory since 2002, joined the World Community Grid on November 21, 2005.

Many other projects worth partaking are available. Among them you will find stuff like discovering dengue drugs or curing muscular dystrophy…

As you can imagine, I really recommend you and your family, friends and relatives to join this. If you ever wanted to do something to help research and can’t spare the money ( because the economy is bad) then here is your chance !

It’s easy as downloading and installing a software and it can help a lot the scientific endeavors of our time.

So if you leave or have to leave your computer on all day, please join !

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