16 May 2006

Bird 'Flu vs. Open Source, Open Data

IBM pushes all the right buttons in this announcement of an open source, open data project to predict and help stem the spread of infectious diseases - like bird 'flu.

Central to the effort will be the use of advanced software technologies, elements of which IBM intends to contribute to the open-source community, that are designed to help share information on disease outbreaks electronically and use it to predict how diseases will spread.


Ultimately, those plans could include development and distribution of more effective and timely vaccines as IBM taps into knowledge gained through a planned collaborative initiative known as "Project Checkmate," in which IBM and The Scripps Research Institute propose to conduct advanced biological research on influenza viruses. The collaboration is designed to predict the way viruses will mutate over time using advanced predictive techniques running on high performance computing systems, such as IBM's BlueGene supercomputer, allowing effective vaccines to be developed by drug-makers, drawing on the immunology and chemistry expertise at Scripps.

Blue Gene runs GNU/Linux in part, so maybe open source will really save the world. (Via Boing Boing.)

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