Zika Virus News: UC San Diego Teams Up with IBM World Communty Grid Scientist to Find Zika Treatment


The OpenZika project was launched by the World Community Grid sponsored by IBM and scientists. UC San Diego has joined other scientists from Brazil to find a speedy treatment for the Zika virus. The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease that has spread in Brazil and was declared a global public health emergency.

The OpenZika Project & the World Community Grid

The World Community Grid aims to help with the OpenZika project by providing free computing power to find volunteers to test out potential treatment drugs for Zika virus, according to a press release. The World Community Grid will combine the powers of computers and Android devices to find a suitable basis of drugs that could treat Zika virus.

This means that anyone with computers or Android mobile devices can participate in the OpenZika project. Volunteers will simply need to download the app and run it on their devices to help perform experiments virtually for scientists. This will greatly help narrow down the millions of chemical compounds that could help formulate a Zika antiviral medicine.

OpenZika Project Database is Public

As such, the OpenZika project will be accessible to the general public and anyone can join in as "citizen scientists." For researchers not directly involved in the World Community Grid of scientists, they can submit proposed treatment methods or compounds that could be used in a Zika virus treatment, Jair Siqueira-Neto, Skaggs School of Pharmacy assistant professor said, as reported by Fox 5.

Rapid Robotic Testing of Potential Zika Drugs

When potential Zika drugs have been identified, this will be tested on patients who have been infected with Zika virus, UC San Diego said. In the last outbreak, the Zika virus has been linked to neurological disorders found in infants born from infected mothers in Brazil. The OpenZika projects hopes to facilitate faster research for antiviral Zika drugs that could potentially save millions of lives in the future.

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