Scripps Institute, IBM Look To PCs to Cure Malaria With Jeopardy Winnings

La Jolla-based biomedical research nonprofit Scripps Research Institute and IBM said this morning that they are looking for the public's help, in volunteering to donate their computer time to help a new effort to cure malaria, funded by IBM Watson's $1M prize from Jeopardy!. According to the two, they are encouraging anyone with a personal computer to join the World Community Grid, which will crunch numbers and perform simulations to help fight malaria. So far, the effort has 2 million PCs engaged in the effort, PCs which were being used by Scripps' efforts to develop treatments for HIV/AIDS.

The joint effort comes as a direct result of the winning of the $1M, first place prize from the Jeopardy! game show by IBM's Watson computer system. The two said that the team at Scripps Research proposed the project, with a portion of the money won from Jeopardy. IBM donated half of the $1M, first place prize from Jeopardy! to seven World Community Grid projects earlier this year.

Scripps said this morning that its team, led by scientists at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) and The Scripps Research Institute, have just published a paper in Science desribing how they discovered a family of chemical compounds that could lead to a new generation of antimalarial drugs.