"The World Community Grid, counted among the top 10 supercomputers in the world, will work with the La Jolla, Calif.-based Scripps Research Institute in designing new therapeutic tools to counter HIV, the fast-mutating virus that causes AIDS, IBM said Monday.
The initiative, dubbed FightAIDS@Home, will draw idle computing power from more than 170,000 computers.
"The computational challenges in approaching this problem are the vast number of possible mutations that may occur, and the huge number of possible chemical compounds that might be tested against them," Dr. Arthur J. Olson, Anderson Research Chair Professor of the Scripps Department of Molecular Biology said in a statement. "The new World Community Grid project will run millions upon millions of docking computations to evaluate potential interactions between compounds and mutant viral proteins.""
The New York Times Getting More From a PC's Spare Time
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"This fall, distributed computing will take a step forward when its largest project, SETI@home (short for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), introduces a software program named for its University of California origins: Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, or Boinc."
"The University of Maryland's Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology plans to use Boinc next spring for a project analyzing DNA sequence data to investigate molecular evolution, particularly of bacteria that cause tuberculosis and leprosy. The project provides opportunities for many people to contribute to scientific research in ways other than through their taxes," said Michael P. Cummings, a visiting associate professor at the center."redux [10.23.02]
News.Com Stanford gives distributed computing an A
"Scientists at Stanford University have demonstrated tangible proof that scientific experiments can be conducted using thousands of low-end PCs wrangled together into loosely linked networks.
A group of chemists, including Stanford assistant professor Vijay Pande, said they successfully predicted the folding rate of a protein using calculations worked out on a so-called distributed computing network. Their research, conducted last year, was published this week in the science journal Nature."redux [04.04.01]
BioMedNet Intel supports online protein project
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"Intel is providing equipment and software downloads for a project in which volunteers are donating spare home computer cycles to a Stanford University project studying the protein-folding process. The project, Folding@Home, was the first to model successfully a complete protein fold - a task not even achieved by supercomputers."
""We want to increase the value of the PC," said Scott Griffin, Intel's program manager. "The PC is there when people aren't at it, like when they are in meetings. A great thing about this is you get every day users involved in research that they care about. Not only do they get to help out, but they get to help cure these terrible diseases.""redux [09.23.01]
Wired News The Little Screensaver That Could
"IBM is spending $100 million building the world's fastest supercomputer to do cutting-edge medical research, but a distributed computing effort running on ordinary PCs may have beaten Big Blue to the punch.
IBM's proposed Blue Gene , a massively parallel supercomputer, in hopes to help diagnose and treat disease by simulating the ultra-complex process of protein folding.
"But Folding@Home , a modest distributed computing project run by Dr. Vijay Pande and a group of graduate students at Stanford University, has already managed to simulate how proteins self-assemble, something that computers, until now, have not been able to do."redux [10.09.00]
ACM CrossRoads The SETI@Home Problem
"The SETI@Home problem can be thought of as a special case of the distributed computation verification problem: "given a large amount of computation divided among many computers, how can malicious participating computers be prevented from doing damage?" This is not a new problem. Distributed computation is a venerable research topic, and the idea of "selling spare CPU cycles" has been a science fiction fixture for years."
"The Internet makes it possible for computation to be distributed to many more machines. However, distributing computing around the internet requires developers to consider the possibility of malicious clients."
"The general study of secure multiparty computation has produced much interesting work over the last two decades. Less well studied, unfortunately, are the tools and techniques required to move the theoretical results to the real world. The old dream of massively distributed computations is finally coming true, and yet our tools for building and analysing real systems still seem primitive. The challenge of the next few years will be to bridge this gap."
USDA Household Food Security in the United States, 2004
"Eighty-eight percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2004, meaning that they had access, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households were food insecure at least some time during that year. The prevalence of food insecurity rose from 11.2 percent of households in 2003 to 11.9 percent in 2004 and the prevalence of food insecurity with hunger rose from 3.5 percent to 3.9 percent. This report, based on data from the December 2004 food security survey, provides the most recent statistics on the food security of U.S. households, as well as on how much they spent for food and the extent to which food-insecure households participated in Federal and community food assistance programs."Center on Hunger and Poverty The Paradox of Hunger and Obesity in America
"Hunger and food insecurity have been called America’s “hidden crisis.” At the same time, and apparently paradoxically, obesity has been declared an epidemic. Both obesity and hunger (and, more broadly, food insecurity) are serious public health problems, sometimes co-existing in the same families and the same individuals. Their existence sounds contradictory, but those with insufficient resources to purchase adequate food can still be overweight, for reasons that researchers now are beginning to understand. Policymakers and the public need to better grasp this apparent paradox if our nation is to grapple with these parallel threats to the well-being of many children and adults, and avoid potentially damaging policy prescriptions arising from a mistaken belief that food insecurity and obesity cannot co-exist."
“Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.”BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
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