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Grid technology advances AIDS research

FightAIDSatHome is the name of a new project that is hoping to tap into the unused powers of idle computers in an effort to advance research into potential treatments for the HIV virus.

The internet-based initiative, supported by Scripps Research Institute and IBM, will link participating computers to a grid which will utilize the power of each individual machine for various data processing tasks.

Using the grid technology will, it is hoped, speed up the analysis of countless potential anti-HIV agents and enhance knowledge of the potential treatments there are for the disease.

Currently, users of IBM and Linux machines are able to participate in the project and once they have downloaded and installed the necessary software, the central server can allocate computing tasks to machines that are lying idle.

Although the first program of its kind, if the project proves successful it is likely that similar projects will be set up in the cause of research for other diseases and illnesses.