What is MalariaControl.net?
Simulation models of the transmission dynamics and health effects of malaria are an important tool for malaria control. They can be used to determine optimal strategies for delivering mosquito nets, chemotherapy, or new vaccines which are currently under development and testing.
Such modeling is extremely computer intensive, requiring simulations of large human populations with a diverse set of parameters related to biological and social factors that influence the distribution of the disease.
The Swiss Tropical Institute has developed a computer model for malaria epidemiology and harnessed its in-house PC capacity, about 40 machines, to do preliminary studies. But far more computing power is required to validate such models and to adequately simulate the full range of interventions and transmission patterns relevant for malaria control in Africa.
This is why MalariaControl.net has been created - to harness the volunteer computing power of thousands of people around the world, to help improve the ability of researchers to predict, and hence control, the spread of malaria in Africa.
Based on prior experience, it is expected that the MalariaControl.net application will complete in a few months - using thousands of volunteer PCs - a volume of computing that would normally take up to 40 years to complete on the computing power otherwise available to the scientists who developed the application.
Also based on prior experience, most of this volunteer computing power will come from the developed world - North America and Europe in particular. However, it is a main objective of AFRICA@home to involve African Universities and institutions in developing and running the applications that will run on the volunteer computers.
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