• 03-DEC-2014


Your computer or smartphone can help search for Ebola cure

Until now, there wasn't much the average person could do about Ebola. But that's about to change.

For the first time, anyone with a computer or Android device can help scientists look for an Ebola cure -- no financial contribution, passport, or PhD necessary. In fact, volunteers can be asleep, traveling or on a coffee break when they assist researchers.

Now, anyone in the world can download a safe and free app from IBM's World Commuity Grid (www.worldcommunitygrid.org) that will put their devices to work when the machines would otherwise be idle. With their collective processing power, the computers will form a virtual supercomputer to help The Scripps Research Institute screen millions of chemical compounds to identify new, more effective drugs to treat Ebola.

Scripps, one of the largest biomedical research institutions in the US, has worked with Ebola for more than a decade, and has already identified new vulnerabilities in the Ebola virus. They now need to see which compounds will stop the virus from infecting people.

Crowdsourcing this citizen science effort with a virtual supercomputer on IBM's free World Community Grid will dramatically accelerate this otherwise tedious, trial-and-error process of identifying a reliable cure.