What it's all about: The World Community Grid's mission is "to create the world's largest public computing grid to tackle projects that benefit humanity." The grid supports research into cures for muscular dystrophy, influenza, AIDS and childhood cancer, among other things. The grid, which was headed for half a million members as of August 2009, runs on BOINC software and is funded by the NSF.
A number of other volunteer computing projects also target disease cures, largely via protein research. For example, Rosetta@home's pitch is that it "needs your help to determine the 3-dimensional shapes of proteins in research that may ultimately lead to finding cures for some major human diseases," including Malaria and Alzheimer's. The project, started in 2005, is run by the Baker Laboratory at the University of Washington. Docking@home and Folding@home are among other worthy volunteer computing projects that tackle protein research to help fight diseases.
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