Saturday, May 24, 2008

Grid Computing and the Rice Crisis

Over the past few weeks, news of impending 'rice crisis' has dominated the Philippine media. As a result, the price of rice has increased condiserably.

How can scientists help to avert the 'rice crisis'?

Below is a news item published in the 'Grid Today' (Source: ) that I would like to share with our readers.

Raffy Saldaña

Scientific Applications:
World Community Grid to Tackle Rice Crisis

As concerns of a global hunger crises mount, IBM and researchers at the University of Washington launched a new program to develop stronger strains of rice that could produce crops with larger and more nutritious yields.

With the processing power of 167 teraflops, equivalent to the world's No. 3 supercomputer, IBM's World Community Grid will harness the unused and donated power from nearly 1 million individual PCs in a new initiative -- "Nutritious Rice for the World" project -- that will study rice at the atomic level and then combine it with traditional cross breeding techniques used by farmers throughout history.

The project can be completed in less than two years as compared to over 200 years using more conventional computer systems.

To view video news release, visit

"The world is experiencing three simultaneous revolutions: in molecular biology and genetics; in computational power and storage capacity; and in communications. The computational revolution allows scientists around the world to tackle almost unimaginably complex problems as a community, and in real-time," said Director General Robert Zeigler, of the International Rice Research Institute based in the Philippines. "While there are no silver bullets, rice production can be revitalized with the help of new technologies. The world community must invest now and for a long time to come."

Read more ...

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