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IBM wants your help in finding new treatments for cancers that affect children. Scientists are looking for new drug candidates that affect the molecules and proteins that control cancer cells in common childhood cancers. The process is computation intensive, and interested participants from around the world can donate computer time to the project. The distributed computing project accelerates scientific research, by using the computation power of otherwise idle machines.
Interested users have to sign up for the World Community Grid. It is not possible to participate without signing up. Users can select the projects to work on, in this case, the project is called Smash Childhood Cancer. The World Community Grid also has projects for AIDS, Zika, and TB that interested users can donate computation time to. Virtual experiments are conducted on the devices and transmitted back to the research team. An application for each project has to be downloaded on the computer.
Smash Childhood Cancer in The Boinc App
Users with Android smartphones can also contribute through the Boinc app. The application includes the ability to contribute to a number of distributed computing projects, including Seti@home and theSkyNet Pogs. The World Community Grid appears towards the bottom of the list. Users have to connect the device to a wi-fi hotspot, plug in the charger, and turn off the screen to start donating computation time to the World Community Grid.
The World Community Grid has already identified drug candidates for neuroblastoma, a kind of cancer common in children. Smash Childhood Cancer expands the search for drug candidates for neuroblastoma, as well as bone cancer, liver cancer, germ cell tumours, kidney tumours and brain tumour. The Boinc open source platform is developed by the University of California, Berkeley.