Intel has teamed up with GridRepublic to launch a Facebook application that allows the spare processing power in a PC to be used to fight diseases and study climate change, CNET reports. The massive amount of data crunching necessary for high-level research is often extremely expensive or not readily available. Intel’s solution is Progress Thru Processors, a computing application built on the Facebook platform that allows people to donate their PC’s available data-processing capacity to research projects such as Rosetta@home, which uses computers to determine the three-dimensional shapes of proteins that might ultimately lead to finding cures for some major human diseases; Climateprediction.net, which seeks a better understanding of global climate change by predicting the Earth’s climate and testing the accuracy of climate models; and Africa@home which seeks optimal strategies to combat malaria by studying simulation models of disease transmission and the potential impact of new anti-malarial drugs and vaccines. "By simply running an application on your computer, which uses very little incremental resources, you can expand computing resources to researchers," Deborah Conrad, Intel vice president and general manager of corporate marketing, said in a statement…

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