Thursday, December 27, 2007

More than numbers

IBM world community grid squeezes decades of cancer research into 2 years

Canadian researchers expect to accelerate the war on cancer by tapping into a global network of hundreds of thousands of people who volunteer their idle computer time to tackle some of the world’s most complex problems.

The research team, led by Dr. Igor Jurisica at the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI), and scientists at Princess Margaret Hospital and University Health Network, are the first from Canada to use the World Community Grid, a network of PCs and laptops with the power equivalent to one of the globe’s top five fastest supercomputers.

The team will use World Community Grid to analyze the results of experiments on proteins using data collected by scientists at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute in Buffalo, New York. This analysis would take conventional computer systems 162 years to complete. However, using World Community Grid, Dr. Jurisica anticipates the analysis could be finished in one to two years, and will provide researchers with a better way to study how proteins function, insight that could lead to the development of more effective cancer-fighting drugs.

“We know that most cancers are caused by defective proteins in our bodies, but we need to better understand the specific function of those proteins and how they interact in the body,” said Dr. Jurisica. “We also have to find proteins that will enable us to diagnose cancer earlier, before symptoms appear, to have the best chance of treating the disease -- or potentially stopping it completely.”

The research team now has more than 86 million images of 9,400 unique proteins that could be linked to cancer, captured in the course of more than 14.5 million experiments by colleagues at Hauptman-Woodward.

This comprises the most comprehensive database on the chemistry of a large number of proteins, a resource that will help researchers around the world unlock the mystery of how many cancers, such as breast, prostate or childhood leukemia, grow.

Approximately 150,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 70,000 will die of the disease in 2007 alone.

Individuals can donate their computers for this project by registering on , and installing a free, secure, small software program on their computers. The computer requests data from World Community Grid’s server when it is idle, for example a user is at lunch, and performs the cancer-related protein computations. A screen saver will tell individuals when their computers are being used.

World Community Grid, the largest public humanitarian grid with more than 333,000-plus members and links to more than 780,000 computers. However, it’s estimated that there are one billion computers worldwide, underscoring the potential for the grid and its computational power to significantly expand. Eight projects have been run on World Community Grid to date, including protein folding and FightAIDS@Home, which completed five years of HIV/AIDS research in just six months. Additional projects are in the pipeline.

News article from

If you have a computer and an internet connection then you have an opportunity to be a part of a global community that is working together to do what they can to help solve various health and environmental concerns. There is no reason not to join and every reason to join. To join takes just five minutes, and it is the only active action that will ever be required. Once one has completed the joining process which involves downloading a very small, wholly safe piece of software, no other action is required. Except that is to join us at Team Bravo, where we would be very happy to welcome you. To join us takes just one click of the mouse. Please join us today and help us to help us.
Step one: Join the WCG
Step two: Join Team Bravo
Although a mere 10 days have passed since the last Bravo post, Team Bravo has returned another 612 results. Personal milestones were plenty as always, some that ended on a zero included;
We also had the very great pleasure of filling spot #40

CJG aka Christopher joined us on Christmas day and has already returned 6 results!
It is a great pleasure to have you with us, Christopher, thank you for joining.

Team Bravo Stats
Member NamePoints GeneratedResults Returned
Sherry G
Karen Mason
Sweet Jaine/
womble 1
Bavani Naidu,

cheekyfaces &

Which if one adds them all together means not only that Team Bravo has returned 13,605 results, but that we have two major reasons to celebrate, namely.....

Congratulations and Thank you team mates!

Looking forward to continuing the partnership through 2008
who knows what good those results will bring
Happy New Year, xo

All welcome to join!


EBEZP said...

It's always a real pleasure to be first on one of these amazing posts Autumn, we mere members of Team Bravo are inspired constantly by your tireless work in the promotion and admin of this fantastic cause. You really rock Autumn and I will continue to say it and acknowledge your contribution to Team Bravo and these promotional posts that you produce for us all regularly.

If you don't understand any of or all that go back to the post and join up now and it will become obvioius, press the required buttons and join us!

How are you Autumn after the Christmas celebrations, hung over on Christmas spirit? Enjoying the void that exists between Christmas and New Year?

Autumn Storm said...

Thank you, Simon, I tell you, if people knew just how long it takes to type out those darn tables, they would join for that reason alone. ;-) To repeat however the real reasons, excellent cause, benefits us all, safe, nothing required beyond 5 minutes of time, no reason not to, every reason to, join us.

Enjoying immensely not having to spend hours travelling each day, and sleeping late, good food and fine wine and not having to brave the cold unless I really want to. :-) How about you, are the boys with you during the holidays? And are you back at work in between or off until next year?

Simon, thank you for your support and unfailing enthusiasm, for joining us and for your continued contributions. You're a star.

jillie said...

Autumn, you are such an amazing person to take all the time you do for this cause. I've signed up before, as you are well aware of but Robert "cleans" up my computer and takes it But I enjoy seeing everything that you all are doing. BRAVO to you and everyone that participates.

Hope you have a Happy New Year.


**Robert may be getting a transfer and guess where to! YEP...London! There's an opening and he asked me about what I thought about living in London for a couple of years. Hey, it's a great way to see Europe. You just never know!

Jodes said...

happy new year!!

Autumn Storm said...

Happy New Year Jodes! :-)

Thanks Jillie & a happy new year to you too, hope it's your best one yet, which may be all the easier to achieve (and thus another reason to push for it/keep your fingers crossed) if you head over this way for a spell, new adventures and so forth. :-D
PS Should you decide to re-install, given you are already registered, it is just a matter of signing in and downloading, 3 mins tops. Cheers and support are always good though, so thank you for your nice words here.

EBEZP said...

Yeah I'm having a great time thanks - no work til next Wednesday. Tim and his girlfriend with me, Matt coming for a couple of days in the new year and plenty of loving Trans Atlantic phone calls!!!
Good food, a huge selection of multi various drinks, who could ask for more?

Palm Springs Savant said...

yeah, we participate in both computers in our home...its amazing, this.

Autumn Storm said...

Good man, Rick. :-) If you aren't on a team, you would be very welcome on ours. Wishing you a wonderful day and weekend.

Good to hear you sounding so satisfied, Simon, must be (will be) really lovely to have both the boys with you.

Trée said...

If a 13 yo . . . I'm just saying. :-D

Sweetest, you are the bestest. No frailing doubt. :-)

Trée said...

J, congrats on joining the 1,000 results returned club. Keep this up and I'll do that dance just for you. :-D

Justin Thyme said...

WOO HOO!! Bring it on, Tree! ;-)

evercurious said...

You never fail to amzaze me. Thanks as always. What you wrote really is helpful. You are the BEST!

Trée said...

Tiffany, welcome to Bravo! Very, very excited to have you join the fight. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort.

tsduff said...

Autumn, you are a real dedicated and productive angel to your cause.

Wishing you and the family a great relaxing New Year - all the best.

Autumn Storm said...

Poppet, hear, hear, more on that later. ;-)

Tiff, bless your sweet and caring heart, you're beautiful! Thank you for joining us at Team Bravo, am ecstatic to have you standing along side of us. :-)
Good luck with B etc, hope it all works out for the best, xoxo

Ghato, you gorgeous man, congratulations on 1000 results, woohoo! :-D
PS Hold him to that. :-D

Terry, thank you, hoping the New Year brings you buckets of good things. Happy 2008!

Trée said...

Did you make coffee? :-D

Autumn Storm said...

Naturally and just how you like it, freshly ground Italian roast, 3 minutes in a French press served in an off-white cup with a slight lip. :-D Morning sweetest heart.

Trée said...

Got some maple center cut bacon frying and eggs sunnyside up on the way. Care to join me? We'll toast fresh squeezed Florida orange juice to THE CAUSE and all our fabulous mates fighting the good fight for children everywhere. Bless their folding and crunching souls. :-)

Autumn Storm said...

Thanks again for breakfast, Poppet, nobody quite fries bacon as well as you, and for the occasion of it all, stirring to think of this wonderful group of people and all that they do. Dessert at mine later, if you're up for it. :-D

Trée said...

Always. Sweet tooth is ready. For The Cause! Let us eat cake. :-D

Autumn Storm said...

Lets! 4,000,000 plus deserves the full works, sparklers, sprinkles, ice cream on the side. And party poppers, as opposed to party poopers. :-D

Trée said...

Let the bruiting cows wonder
how Bravo charges thunder
and disease is torn asunder
like pirates upon plunder


Autumn Storm said...

You always did have a way with words. :-D

Jules said...

Woohoo! Yay for all of us! I'm so proud!!! (Good for you for catching up with me a bit more, Si... my computer was shut off for Xmas, you know!) ;OP

Autumn Storm said...

Have a great weekend, Jules!!

EBEZP said...

Happy Sunday Autumn looks like you had a good time last night!
So it's New years Eve eve and a Sunday, nothing going on and I'm off, just chilling really tying up some lose ends for 2007.

It's often underestimated the fun and the friendships that can be had and made doing good for others isn't it? Whatever the figures produced Team Bravo is without a doubt a growing community of good and lasting friendships within the often a bit scary blog community that we already exist in.

The odd person out there who hasn't yet decided to join us may like to take that on board before they choose a team.

Oh yes and friendly rivalry hey Autumn?! Your previous commenter is the epitome of that!!!!

To everyone at Team Bravo, if I don't get back here tomorrow A very Happy and successful 'crunching' New Year from me, DJ WILKO, JosieW and Womble 1, oh and indirectly ebezpsentme!

Autumn Storm said...

Simon, you are undoubtedly our most enthusiastic team mate and bless you for it. :-) Thank you, for the Sunday wishes and for the New Year's wishes for everyone. Hope you have a fantastic, festive and happy night tomorrow, whatever you get up to, and all the very best to you in 2008, same goes for the rest of the ebezp gang, woohoo! 2008, here we come!

SaffronSaris said...

I can't believe how quickly the year has flown by!
Have a cheerful 2008 ahead!!

Loving Annie said...

Happy New Year to you Autumn Storm ! It has been a pleasure making your acquaintance :)

Jules said...

Thanks Eb & Autumn... Happiest of New Year's to you too!! I can't wait to see how well we all do in 2008!!!

Autumn Storm said...

Time flies, it's about the thing we can be most certain of. Have a wonderful night tonight, Saff, you'll be one of the first to sneak a peek at 2008. Hope you have a brilliant year!

Annie, ditto. :-D Wishing you a very happy New Year!!

Jules, we've ended it well and the great thing about Bravo is there is only one way to go. Up and up and up. :-) Enjoy yourself tonight and once again, all the best for the year ahead.

EBEZP said...

Happy New Year Autumn

My wish for you and M in 2008 is everything that you would wish for yourselves.

Autumn Storm said...

Back attcha Simon

I think I may have said so a half dozen times now, but wishing you all the best in the year ahead. :-)