IBM Enlists Idle Computers in Malaria Fight

Apr 25, 2012

Today on World Malaria Day, U.S. Chamber’s Business Civic Leadership Center notes the business community’s efforts to eradicate a disease that still plagues millions. For example, IBM is pooling the computing power of idle computers:

The scientists at The Scripps Research Institute are leveraging IBM’s World Community Grid to reduce the amount of time it would take scientists to run computations evaluating millions of compounds against molecular drug targets of the malaria parasite. Priority is being given to targets and candidate compounds with potential to attack the “superbug” strains of malaria, or those that are multi-drug-resistant.

The World Community Grid is so powerful it can reduce what might have taken scientists 100 years to complete down to one year.

These and other contributions from businesses are making a difference. Alexandria Farnum, program officer in Global Health Policy and Advocacy for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, writes:

There’s been significant progress in the fight against malaria in the past 10 years. Longer lasting bed nets treated with insecticides provide better protection to help prevent people from getting infected, new tests are available that can relatively quickly diagnose if a person has malaria, and there are more effective drugs to treat people who get malaria. All this has happened in the past 10 years, and it’s contributed to saving over one million lives. In 43 of the 99 countries with malaria, the number of people getting infected is half as high as it was 10 years ago.

Read about more companies whose contributions are moving the world a little closer to wiping out this killer disease.

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