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I.B.M. plans today to announce a project to harness untapped computing power from millions of personal computers to help unlock the genetic mysteries of illnesses like AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, malaria and cancer.
The project, called the World Community Grid, was developed in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, the United Nations and other organizations, and represents a significant step in the use of the Internet to foster collaborative scientific research. The goal is to combine computer resources and the shared knowledge of researchers to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery.
Dr. Eric Jakobsson, who heads the Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative at the National Institutes of Health, said, “This program is both a sizable commitment of computing resources and an encouraging sign of progress in moving toward a community model for biomedical computing.”