IBM Canada Ltd.

IBM Canada Ltd.
York University

York University

March 01, 2007 10:40 ET

Change the World...With Your Computer

York becomes first Canadian University to join World Community Grid

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 1, 2007) - Millions of personal computers sit idle on desks and in homes worldwide. During this idle time, answers to the mysteries of science and space continue to elude us. What if each of the world's estimated 650 million PCs could be linked to focus on humanity's most pressing issues?

To make this vision a reality, York University has become the first Canadian University to partner with World Community Grid - joining the IBM Corporation and a group of more than 220 companies, associations, foundations, nonprofits and academic institutions. York University is encouraging its students, alumni, faculty and staff to contribute their idle PC time to assist humanitarian research by joining World Community Grid at www.worldcommunitygrid.org and by becoming a member of the York University Research team.

World Community Grid uses grid technology to establish a permanent, flexible infrastructure which provides researchers with a readily available pool of computational power that can be used to solve problems plaguing humanity. Grid technology joins together many individual computers, creating a large system with massive computational power that far exceeds the power of a few supercomputers. And World Community Grid is easy and safe to use.

"It's amazing the difference we can make as individuals by simply joining World Community Grid and pooling our collective resources," said Stan Shapson, York's vice-president of research and innovation. "With a community of researchers, staff, students and alumni as large as we have, and as a university dedicated to contributing to global research opportunities, York University will be able to make a significant and measurable addition toward this effort."

"We are thrilled that York University has become IBM's largest World Community Grid partner in Canada," said Garth Issett, IBM vice-president of manufacturing, development and operations. "IBM's relationship with York has evolved on many positive fronts over the past few years. We hope that other Canadian universities and public organizations will follow York's lead and also sign up for the World Community Grid program."

In a few short weeks, the York University Research team on World Community Grid has attracted nearly 150 users, placing it near the top 100 of more than 14,000 teams worldwide on the Grid. The York team has accounted for more than 2,000 results returned to the grid to date, which has translated into almost two full years of accumulated research on various projects.

"World Community Grid is a tangible way for York to enhance its growing research reputation within the regional community," said Shapson. "It complements our external collaborations with leading industry partners like IBM and our involvement in partnerships such as YORKbiotech, the National Centre for Medical Device Development, and CONCERT."

To join, individuals should visit www.worldcommunitygrid.org to download and install a free software program onto their computers. When idle, a member's computer requests data from World Community Grid's server. The computer then performs computations using this data, sends the results back to the server, and prompts it for a new piece of work.

York University:

York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada's most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as 190,000 alumni worldwide. York's 11 faculties and 23 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation.

IBM:

www.ibm.com

Background:

In its first year, World Community Grid ran the Human Proteome Folding Project, which provided scientists with data on how individual proteins within the human body affect human health, enabling them to develop new cures for diseases such as lyme disease, malaria and tuberculosis. Scientists now have descriptions of 120,000 protein domains that are critical to human well-being; without this free grid technology, it would have taken five years to get these results, compared to just 12 months using World Community Grid.

On November 21, 2005, World Community Grid launched FightAIDS@Home. Sponsored by The Scripps Research Institute, FightAIDS@Home is using computational methods to identify new candidate drugs to block HIV protease, a key molecular structure that when blocked, stops the virus from maturing - a way of avoiding the onset of AIDS and prolonging life.

On July 20, 2006, World Community Grid launched a new effort that will assist in cancer research using the massive computational power of World Community Grid. The Help Defeat Cancer project will use World Community Grid to analyze tissue microarrays (TMA) - a new investigative tool that will ultimately help doctors select proper treatments and provide accurate prognosis for cancer patients.

Go to www.worldcommunitygrid.org and become a member today. Then, join York's growing team: "York University Research."

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