IBM is doing its bit to help fight Ebola by allowing its users to "donate" IT processing power to a virtual supercomputer tasked with identifying new leads for treating the virus.
From today, IBM has made a free app available to anyone with access to a computer or Android mobile device. The app will put the devices to work when they would otherwise be idle.
The donated processing power will fire up a virtual IBM supercomputer which will help its partner The Scripps Research Institute to find an Ebola treatment.
"Although some medical therapies show promise as treatments for Ebola, scientists are still looking urgently for a definitive cure," IBM said.
"For the first time, anyone... can help scientists perform this critical research – no financial contribution, passport, or PhD necessary. In fact, volunteers can be asleep, travelling, or on a coffee break when they help researchers search for an Ebola cure."
It added that promising leads identified by the "citizen science" project will be tested in a lab to establish their efficacy. From there, the best leads will be worked on further with the hope of eventually creating an approved medicine.
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