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WCG Projects

WCG Projects

Research Overview

OpenPandemics – COVID-19

OpenPandemics – COVID-19


COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV2, a virus of the coronavirus family. These viruses cause diseases that affect mainly the human respiratory system and potentially other major organs. COVID-19 can lead to serious illness or even death.

As of the launch of this project, there is no treatment, cure, or vaccine for COVID-19.

Proposed Solution

Scientists at Scripps Research are doing molecular modeling simulations to look for possible candidates for the development of treatments for COVID-19, but to be successful they need massive computing power to carry out millions of simulated laboratory experiments.

So Scripps Research is partnering with World Community Grid, an IBM social impact initiative that allows anyone with a computer and an internet connection to donate their device’s computing power to help scientists study the world’s biggest problems in health and sustainability. By using this donated computing power, the scientists aim to identify promising chemical compounds for further laboratory testing.

The research team wants not only to help find treatments for COVID-19, but also to create a fast-response, open source toolkit that will help all scientists quickly search for treatments for future pandemics. And in keeping with World Community Grid’s open data policy, all data and tools that are developed through this project will be shared freely in the scientific community.

The project’s primary goal is to search for potential treatments for COVID-19, so studying proteins from SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is the highest priority.

Additionally, scientists want to fight not only the current emergency, but also prepare for the ones that will likely follow. Future pandemics could stem from a progressive accumulation of mutations, which can eventually lead to a new virus variant. This is what happened when the virus SARS-CoV1 mutated to become SARS-CoV2. So, the research team is including proteins from the SARS-CoV1 and other viruses to be studied as part of OpenPandemics –COVID-19, which will help them assess how difficult would it be to find or design molecules capable of overcoming the inevitable mutations.

Africa Rainfall Project

What if your computer could run weather simulations that could help farmers in Africa successfully grow their crops? We’re excited to announce the Africa Rainfall Project, our first project in partnership with The Weather Company.

Why are accurate rainfall forecasts particularly important for farmers in sub-Saharan Africa?

Most farms in Africa (about 95 percent) depend on rainfall to successfully raise their crops. However, because rainfall in Africa is often localized—sometimes almost at the level of one farm—it’s difficult to forecast accurately with technology such as satellite data, which shows larger weather patterns.

The Africa Rainfall Project aims to change that by creating more accurate rainfall forecasts that use rainfall data from The Weather Company, satellite data, ground observations, and data derived from weather simulations run on World Community Grid. 

Smash Childhood Cancer 

Every year, approximately 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer and about 80,000 die of cancer.  In 2009, World Community Grid joined the battle to improve these grim statistics by supporting Help Fight Childhood Cancer. With the aid of more than 200,000 volunteers who donated their devices’ computing time, the project helped scientists discover several potential drug candidates that may lead to treatments for neuroblastoma, one of the more common cancers in infants and young children.

Microbiome Immunity Project

Microbiome Immunity Project 

Did you know that trillions of bacteria live inside and on your body? In this comprehensive study of the human microbiome, you can help scientists understand the role these bacteria play in disease.

Help Stop TB

Help Stop TB

Tuberculosis killed 1.5 million people in 2014, making it one of the world’s deadliest diseases. You can help researchers learn more about this disease and how to overcome it.

Mapping Cancer Markers

Mapping Cancer Markers 

Mapping Cancer Markers aims to identify chemical markers associated with various types of cancer. This will help researchers detect cancer earlier and design more personalized cancer care by determining an individual’s susceptibility to…

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