I'm sure many of you have heard about the Seti@Home
program, developed to leverage the power of thousands of home computers to
process radio signals in the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. It does
so by downloading chunks of data that gets processed by a screen saver and then
later the results are uploaded back to the main server. Interesting for sure!
Recently I ran across the The
Intel® Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer Program, a site built to host programs
similar to Seti@Home but devoted to life science
programs targeting specific diseases. Right now the site is hosting several
programs including The United
Devices Cancer Research Program, The
Stanford Alzheimer and Amyloidogenic Disease Research Program, and The
Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute Distributed Folding Program. There
was a fourth program, The United
Devices Anthrax Research Program which has already been completed - take a
look at the results,
they screened down from more than 3.5 billion possible molecules to about
300,000 in less than four weeks! Seems pretty cool to me.
So why not participate? I've signed up for The
Stanford Alzheimer and Amyloidogenic Disease Research Program and downloaded
the screensaver, about 2m worth. No problems installing and has run fine so
far. The best part is that you can participate in teams! When you first install
(or right click on the screensaver and select configure) you can enter a team id
- I've set one up for SQLServerCentral - it's 2197. You can view the results by
visiting the team
stats page. On average it takes 1-2 days to process a "work unit"
and upload the results, so it'll be a couple days before the stats really show
It's for a good cause and doesn't cost anything, what could be better? I'm
hoping you'll give it a try. If you do, please just post a quick note in the
attached discussion forum so we can see how we're doing!