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Use the 99 Percent

The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) now gives Android operating system users the potential to donate excess computing power to diverse and fascinating research initiatives with a new app.

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Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics/B. Knispel (photo), NASA (pulsar illustration)


Current projects include Einstein@Home’s search for astronomical phenomena, such as radio pulsars (340,000 global participants have helped discover almost 50 to date), and FightAIDS@Home, which allows the Olson Laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute in California to use community computational power to identify new candidate drugs with the right shape and chemical characteristics to block HIV’s essential enzymes.


Data analysis and processing is a major bottleneck in research, especially when access to funding or computer infrastructure is limited. By properly harnessing the growing number of powerful and energy-efficient personal devices, research can be accelerated. As a solid testament to the clout of distributive computing, the World Community Grid, which runs on BOINC, has provided researchers with nearly 775,000 years of free computing runtime since its launch in 2004.


The new BOINC app for Android OS (version 2.3 or higher) acts as the conduit between your device’s unused processing capability and the researchers that need it. Download it at the Google Play store. But don’t worry; even if you’re not an Android phone or tablet user, you can still download BOINC software to use the idle time of your regular computer


FightAIDS@Home is just one of many active projects hosted by the World Community Grid. Others include research into green energy and clean water, as well as cures for other diseases. Past projects have included human proteome folding, genome comparisons, and malaria research.


World Community Grid:

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About the Author
Rich Whitworth

Rich Whitworth completed his studies in medical biochemistry at the University of Leicester, UK, in 1998. To cut a long story short, he escaped to Tokyo to spend five years working for the largest English language publisher in Japan. "Carving out a career in the megalopolis that is Tokyo changed my outlook forever. When seeing life through such a kaleidoscopic lens, it's hard not to get truly caught up in the moment." On returning to the UK, after a few false starts with grey, corporate publishers, Rich was snapped up by Texere Publishing, where he spearheaded the editorial development of The Analytical Scientist. "I feel honored to be part of the close-knit team that forged The Analytical Scientist – we've created a very fresh and forward-thinking publication." Rich is now also Content Director of Texere Publishing, the company behind The Analytical Scientist.

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