Oxford University will tomorrow start a SETI-style project to investigate cancer drugs.
The peer-to-peer (P2P) computing scheme, which also involves the US charity National Foundation for Cancer Research, United Devices and Intel, will let surfers worldwide use their computers to test chemicals for future cancer-fighting drugs.
The organisers hope that as many as six million people will get involved in the programme, which involves downloading the relevant software and using the spare capacity on PCs.
"This is going to speed up the drug discovery process by three to five years," a representative of the National Foundation for Cancer Research told The Register.
This technique of roping unused PC power together to make a kind of supercomputer is used by SETI@Home, the famous quest to find alien intelligence by scouting for radio signals from space.
The cancer project will be launched in California on Tuesday at 10am PST, when the Website to download the relevant software will also go live. ®