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International News

New App Harnesses Smartphones for Fight Against HIV/AIDS

August 8, 2013

On July 22, a new Android application named the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) became available from the Google Play app store. BOINC allows individuals to donate unused computing power from their smartphones and tablets while the devices are not in use. For the app to work without draining batteries or depleting data plans, the device must be connected to Wi-Fi, close to being fully charged, and connected to a power supply. When combined with additional donated power generated by thousands of other smartphones or tablets, the network of devices creates supercomputer-comparable power, free for scientific use. One project making use of such a network is the Olson Laboratory and Scripps Research Institute collaboration FightAIDS@Home, which is powered by IBM's World Community Grid. The project is researching new HIV treatments. Previously, the World Community Grid only had access to idle desktop and laptop computers for its research efforts. Since the BOINC application went live, Google Play has tracked approximately 30,000 downloads.

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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