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Intel pumps ups P2P cancer fight

Screensaver and lifesaver

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The peer-to-peer project to find a cure for cancer will be the first of many hosted by Intel, according to company chief Craig Barrett.

Barrett, whose son and grandson are currently fighting cancer, said at today's launch he hoped the Intel Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer Program would become a common site for similar schemes aimed at other diseases.

The SETI-style endeavour aims to hook up six million computers worldwide and harness their unused power to study up to 250 million molecules. The University of Oxford, the National Foundation for Cancer Research and US company United Devices are also involved.

If the program manages to find any cancer-fighting drugs - it is initially focused on leukaemia - the patent will belong to Oxford University. It in turn says it will pass the information on to other organisations.

The program will deliver the opportunity to "turn your screensaver into a lifesaver," said Graham Richards, chairman of chemistry at the university.

Within hours of the launch the software was being downloaded by two-to- three people per second, according to United Devices. ®

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