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PC Power United

IBM project lets PC users donate computer power to create grid for researchers

As part of its effort to spur collaborative research in key industries, IBM has launched a project that lets home PC users donate computer power to help with research ranging from AIDS prevention to earthquake forecasting. Researchers using IBM's World Community Grid would tap into PC power worldwide through software that links millions of individual computers to form a giant virtual supercomputer. Interested home PC users can sign up at www.worldcommunitygrid.org. IBM is partnering with United Devices Inc. on the project.

The grid will first be used by nonprofit group Institute for Systems Biology for a project aimed at gaining a better understanding of the human protein structure, with an eye to curing diseases such as tuberculosis.

Speaking in New York City last week, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano predicted business and scientific innovation will occur in collaborative environments. Innovation, he said, "is no longer the domain of the individual inventor."

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