Local News

Home Computers Can Now Join Battle Against Cancer

Posted May 14, 2001 7:10 a.m. EDT

— You can help develop new drugs to treat cancer with your home computer.

Researchers now use computers to find the right compounds to attack cancer cells. However, they need more computing time and that is where your home computer can fit into the battle against disease.

Several organizations have built "virtual supercomputers" by harnessing the power of thousands of PCs. It is called "distributed" computing. Internet service provider Juno is trying it, selling time to researchers and others.

TheNational Foundation for Cancer Researchactively recruits computer owners to join the battle. You download a small program, which allows researchers to send your machine a tiny part of the cancer cure puzzle while you are online.

Offline, your machine does its computations, then sends back the results when you are again online.

More than 500,000 PCs make up the "virtual supercomputer" for the National Foundation for Cancer Research.