World Community Grid finished the alpha testing, and is restarting on April 13.
The World Community Grid has restarted!
As of April 13, 2023, the World Community Grid has finished the alpha testing and has restarted. We greatly appreciate the community’s help and patience during the past 14 months. We are excited to expand this powerful computing platform and give more people the ability to engage in citizen science and increase research breakthroughs by using scalable yet sustainable computing.
We have faced many challenges since we started to run WCG, and it took us substantially longer than we had anticipated. For volunteers who chose to pause their contributions during the restart phase, we highly encourage you to begin crunching again with our new and improved system. The impressive growth of WCG’s computing capacity and volunteer involvement over the years has naturally slowed down over the last period – but together, we can ensure that this platform will grow and enable seemingly impossible scientific research to come to life.
This does not mean that our back-end system is perfect, or that we fixed all known issues (see our Comprehensive Bug List). We will fix the remaining issues over time. We are also working on expanding the activities – and will post updates over the next few weeks.
A big thank you to the volunteers, WCG alpha testers, who helped us to find bugs and contributed scientific data during the testing phase. With the full restart, several of the research partners are ready with new work units from their new research phase.
Africa Rainfall Project:
Volunteers computed 358,742 results during the alpha testing phase. The African Rainfall Project is still developing simulations to accurately predict rainfall patterns in rain-reliant regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. In their most recent update with us, they have been working behind the scenes to move their data to a new storage system to keep up with the volume of data they have been receiving from the volunteer community. They are continuing to research the African weather patterns and create accurate forecasts for every day in 2023. For more information, read our recent research update from the ARP team.
Mapping Cancer Markers
Volunteers computed 118,875,915 results for sarcoma during the alpha testing phase. In the meantime, we have continued the analysis of the identified 9 trillion lung cancer gene signatures. Our focus is on 26 genes that are present in signatures of all sizes. From those 26 genes we further researched VAMP1, a gene connected to a patient's smoking status, was heavily represented in patients who survived cases of cancer, making it a strong choice as a prognostic marker. For more information, read our recent research update from the MCM team.
OpenPandemics - COVID-19
During the alpha testing phase volunteers crunched 50,950,437 results. OPN1 has continued searching for new treatments for COVID-19 and creating quick-response toolkits for future pandemics. We look forward to sharing more news from them soon.
Help Stop TB
The team has been analyzing previous results and devising new strategies for the search. In addition, the team leader Dr. Anna Croft will be moving to the University of Loughborough as a full professor. We celebrate with Dr. Croft this exciting move, and trust that WCG will be larger (and large enough) once the new HSTB work units will be available.
Smash Childhood Cancer
The SCC team has introduced Nikita Rozanov as a new team member, who is using his experience developing computer simulations of molecules to develop new potential drugs for treating cancers. The team has begun their research into a new target protein, FLI1. It is a member of the ETS transcription factor family that controls cell proliferation, differentiation and survival. A fusion of FL1 gene and EWSR1 is frequently present in cases of Ewing Sarcoma and other cancers. EWSR1 encodes for an RNA-binding protein (EWS), and when EWS is fused to FLI1 the latter becomes constantly activated (instead of finely regulated), creating the molecular environment for tumor formation. The EWS-FLI1 fusion protein has been thought to inhibit p53 and/or activate NOTCH signaling, accelerating sarcoma progression. Useful FLI1 inhibitors need to specifically target this fusion protein but not other related ones to avoid inadvertent side effects. For more information, read our recent research update from the SCC team.
You make a difference
For any questions about the current projects or the restart process, please comment on this forum thread or contact us directly. We will summarize the most frequent questions in a future FAQ update.
Together, there is much more we can do. WCG needs your help! If you are already contributing your computing resources, we thank you; but if you can add more devices at home or office, please consider doing so as we will need a larger grid to accommodate new projects. If you haven’t yet joined the World Community Grid, you can sign up here.