A new, automated, way to uncover the structure of cancer related proteins may help scientists come up with new cures for cancer, and may also help them learn about other diseases and aid in food related research.

The breakthrough is due in part to the World Community Grid, a network of personal computers that computer owners have volunteered to participate by letting scientists use their spare processing power for humanitarian efforts.  Sponsored by IBM, the World Community Grid gives researches the equivalent of millions of dollars in free computing power.

Using the Grid, the  Help Conquer Cancer Project designed a program that explores proteins six times better and much faster than the previous method of human review. The more efficient system may greatly improve the search for the cure of many different kinds of cancer.

The World Community Grid currently has ongoing projects related to research on Muscular Dystrophy, AIDS, Clean Energy, Clean Water, Cancer, World Hunger and more.  Further details can be found at: http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/index.jsp

A full article with the technical details of the breakthrough is available at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/750430466h336142/fulltext.pdf.