Intel taps P2P technology for cancer research

Intel Tuesday announced a peer-to-peer technology initiative designed to further cancer research by enabling PC users with Internet access to donate unused compute time to help solve medical research problems.

By using the collective idle time of a mere 6 million PCs connected to the Internet, the program could provide up to 50 teraflops of computer power, Intel said in a statement. The National Foundation for Cancer Research has estimated that, using supercomputers, it can take 24 million computer hours to analyze the data on just a single protein problem.

The Intel Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer Program will initially focus on an application that targets a protein molecule that is linked to leukemia.

Intel's initiative is supported by the American Cancer Society, the University of Oxford, the National Foundation for Cancer Research and United Devices, a medical research company.

"This will turn your screen saver into a lifesaver," said Dr. Graham Richards of the University of Oxford.

Craig Barrett, CEO of Intel, said anyone can freely download software that will link their PC to a worldwide network running medical research applications.

Intel said the software's security is "robust end to end," and Barrett said he was going to allow it to be run inside his company.

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