Cancer will cause more than half a million deaths in the US this year. Here's how smart pills, IBM Watson, customized treatments, and even social media are helping patients fight for their health.
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Donated power Android users can lend their smartphones' processing power to help University of Vienna researchers crunch through the Similarity Matrix of Proteins (SIMAP) database that computes similarities between various protein sequences, according to Quartz. This is a first step in discovering cures for cancer -- but demands a lot of processing power, researchers said.
With the Power Sleep app for Android phones -- written by the university and Samsung Austria -- users plug in their phones at night, connect to WiFi, and donate the power. A built-in alarm knows that you are no longer using the device, developers said.
Don't have an Android smartphone? World Community Grid volunteers download a small research assignment to their computer or mobile phone when it has the capacity to do more work, such as when they are away or checking email. The device then feeds back the answers to WCG, which relays responses to individual researchers who analyze the data for patterns, draw insight, and share findings with other scientists. In February, one researcher unveiled a breakthrough in the search for a new treatment for childhood cancer, thanks in part to volunteers' support of the research.
Dr. Akira Nakagawara (right), principal investigator for Help Fight Childhood Cancer and president, Chiba Cancer Center, got help from World Community Grid volunteers who donated processing power to his research.