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Jeopardy! winnings spur IBM and Scripps Research Institute collaboration to fight against malaria
Date:11/18/2011

LA JOLLA, CA and ARMONK, NY - IBM's Watson computing system broke new ground earlier this year when it defeated two celebrated human competitors on the Jeopardy! game show. Now, The Scripps Research Institute is hoping to do something equally novel but more critical to human health with part of the prize money from that tournament: Find a cure for drug-resistant malaria. And it's asking for the public's help.

To that end, Scripps Research and IBM (NYSE: IBM) are encouraging anyone in the world with a personal computer to join World Community Grid, a sort of "supercomputer of the people" that will crunch numbers and perform simulations for "GO Fight Against Malaria" -- the project that Scripps Research and IBM have launched at http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org.

World Community Grid is fed by spare computing power from the nearly 2 million PCs that have been volunteered so far by 575,000 people in more than 80 countries. It gives each PC small computing assignments to perform when the devices aren't otherwise being used by its owners, then sends the results to scientists seeking a faster way to cure disease, find renewable energy materials, create clean water techniques, or develop healthier food staples.

Scripps Research, which has already used World Community Grid to discover two promising new inhibitors of HIV to advance the treatment of multi-drug-resistant AIDS, is now taking on the malaria project, as well. By tapping into World Community Gridwhich turns seven years of age todayScripps Research scientists hope to compress 100 years of computations normally necessary for the effort into just one year. The scientists will use this resource to more quickly evaluate millions of compounds that may advance the development of drugs to cure mutant, drug-resistant strains of malaria. Data from the experiments will then be made available to the public.

"Working on malaria started
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Contact: Mika Ono
mikaono@scripps.edu
858-784-2052
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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