The month of May was another busy one at IBM with a flurry of announcements in hardware, software, services, acquisitions, and strategic alliances. The complete index of IBM Happenings (by year and month) is here. A major focus area in addition to a "smarter planet" is an effort using IBM’s World Community Grid “virtual supercomputer” — consisting of the spare computing power of more than a million personal computers around the world — to allow laboratory tests on drug candidates for drug-resistant influenza strains and new strains, such as H1N1.
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch will use the World Community Grid to identify the chemical compounds most likely to stop the spread of the influenza viruses and begin testing these under laboratory conditions. The computational work adds up to thousands of years of computer time which will be compressed into just months using the vast computing grid. As many as 10% of the drug candidates identified by calculations on the grid will hopefully show antiviral activity in the laboratory and move to clinical testing.
Influenza claims the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world each year and the current H1N1 virus outbreak is a reminder of how quickly influenza mutates and how easily new strains of the virus emerge. Traditional methods of flu vaccine development can not keep up with the high rate at which viruses change. The World Community Grid can run virtual chemistry experiments to determine which of the millions of small molecules can attach to the influenza virus and inhibit it from spreading. There is the potential to make the world a better place because of this project.
If you want to donate unused computer time to the World Community Grid, take a look at worldcommunitygrid.org.
List of Announcements for May 2009
IBM acquires Exeros assets
Exeros’ technology uncovers hidden relationships between databases, helping users make sense of disparate data sources much faster than otherwise possible.
IBM helps organizations design and deliver smarter products
IBM builds on business process transformation leadership
IBM launches effort to find flu drug treatments
IBM helps build a smart taxation service system
IBM ushers in stream computing era
IBM establishes healthcare centre in France
IBM announces beta release of Lotus Notes 8.5.1 with iPhone support
IBM helps Slovenia build smart insurance system
IBM, Intuit help businesses work smarter
IBM and FXA Group to help improve food safety
IBM, Russian Railways optimize rail operations
IBM, Ferrosan sign seven-year outsourcing contract
IBM and Salerno cooperate to develop a smarter city
IBM outlines new model for healthcare
IBM launches Vietnam innovation center
IBM Global Financing helps accelerate infrastructure initiatives
U.S. Lumber improves business performance with IBM
UNC Health Care, IBM speed treatment development