AIDS research grid project gathers support

Thousands sign up for AIDS/HIV grid research effort, helping to build an ad-hoc supercomputer that could save lives

Over 20,000 computer users have signed up for a distributed computing project that uses spare PC cycles to help research into AIDS and HIV.

As reported late last month, the Internet-based initiative called FightAIDS@Home to enlist about 100,000 computer users to donate the use of their machines' idle time between processing tasks. It is based within IBM's World Community Grid.

The team behind FightAIDS@Home announced on Monday that the World Community Grid had enjoyed its most successful week ever in terms of new users, following the launch of the AIDS research project.

Participants' machines can request data from a central server, process it and send back the results. By harnessing a large bank of computing processing power, the researchers hope to develop potential anti-HIV drugs quicker.

The computers perform calculations that model the way different chemicals interact with the HIV's replication process, hoping to find those which bind so tightly to proteins that the normal biochemical pathway is inhibited.

To learn more about FightAIDS@Home, and to take part, click here.