As if Facebook users didn’t already have far too much time on their hands, Intel has teamed up with GridRepublic to launch a Facebook application that allows the spare processing power in their PCs to be used to fight diseases and study climate change.
While the idea of using spare processing time on computers for high level research is not new. It is the first time that it has been offered through social networking sites.
Intel has written an app called Progress Thru Processors, enabling Facebook users to donate their PCs available data processing capacity to research projects such as Rosetta@home, which uses computers to determine the 3-dimensional shapes of proteins that may ultimately lead to finding cures for some major human diseases.
Progress Thru Processors participants can decide which cause they want to their contribute processor power towards. These include Climateprediction.net and Africa@home. Climateprediction.net aims to predict the Earth’s climate and testing the accuracy of climate models. Africa@home is trying to combat malaria by studying simulation models of disease transmission and the impact of new anti-malarial drugs.
Deborah Conrad, Intel vice president and general manager of corporate marketing, said that running the application on your computer uses very little resources but makes it possible to make a difference to various research projects.
The application has been launched as a public beta and available to all Facebook users here.