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by Robin Willner
Earlier this month, IBM and the Scripps Research Institute announced a major breakthrough in the fight against HIV/AIDS. World Community Grid — which supplied researchers with more than 109,000 YEARS of computation time over a five year period — was a major factor in this groundbreaking success. Now, there is hope for a new class of drugs to help the more than 33 million people who are infected worldwide.
To me, this project highlights IBM’s unique and transformative position as a global company. I’m not a scientist, nor much of a technology expert. But, the virtual donation of my personal computer during downtime through World Community Grid is allowing me to contribute to the development of new approaches to some of the world’s most complex humanitarian issues. The IBM technology that built World Community Grid is allowing me to make a difference.
It’s an effort that’s indicative of IBM’s overall approach to philanthropy because it goes beyond simple check writing to harness our company’s industry leading technology and the talents and passion of IBM employees. Today, hundreds of thousands of volunteers are assisting with projects through World Community Grid that are helping to find cures for Cancer, Muscular Dystrophy and Dengue Fever, improving rice yields and mapping the Human Proteome.
The Scripps Research breakthrough is an incredible testament to the volunteers who have helped make World Community Grid the largest volunteer grid benefiting humanity as well as the scientists who are making the world a better place. For me personally, World Community Grid — and its continuing success around the world — has shown the power of sharing and difference we can all make as individuals on seemingly impossible issues.
I wanted to share our video above to document this remarkable breakthrough in HIV/AIDS research. It tells the story much better than I can.