IBM is devoting the computational power of the World Community Grid to help scientists working on cancer treatments. This could enable the equivalent of 160 years’ work to be completed in a single day.
The World Community Grid was formed in November 2003 to use idle clock cycles in users’ Internet-connected PCs around the world. The "Help Defeat Cancer" project will let researchers analyse large numbers of cancer biopsy specimens simultaneously.
"As a result of the Help Defeat Cancer project, World Community Grid makes it possible to analyse in one day the number of specimens that would take approximately 130 years to complete using a traditional computer," said Dr David J Foran, one of the scientists leading the project.
Many other projects exist that allow you to be generous with your computer when you’re not working or shooting aliens.
If your computer’s feeling generous, you can sign up at World Community Grid