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Archive for the 'World hunger' Category

Activists plan protest at Bunge shareholders meeting

May
23

Members of the Rainforest Action Network said they would protest outside the annual shareholders meeting of Bunge Limited today at Sofitel New York on West 44th Street in Manhattan. Activists accused the White Plains-based global agribusiness of ignoring human rights and the environment in Brazil and the Amazon rainforest.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Friday, May 23rd, 2008 at 12:26 pm |
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IBM computers to tackle global rice shortage

May
14

When you think of IBM, you think of computers, not rice bowls. But for the billions of people around the world who rely on rice as a staple food, a new initiative by Big Blue could mean heartier meals.

A worldwide network of computers created by IBM will be tackling the looming rice shortage by helping researchers at the University of Washington research stronger, more nutritious and climate-tolerant rice strains.

IBM’s World Community Grid — a network of more than 1 million personal computers linked together to donate idle time to science — has accepted the Nutritious Rice for the World project as its latest effort.

Robin Wilner, vice president of Global Community Initiatives at IBM’s Armonk headquarters, said this is the ninth project for the grid, which was started in 2004.

“As a corporation, we’re a member of all of the communities where IBMers live and work and where our customers live and work. We need to be involved in solving problems that affect those communities, whether it’s looking for a cure for AIDS, creating diagnostic tools for cancer or finding more nutritious, disease-resistant rice,” she said.

IBM is not only providing technical assistance to the project, it’s donating computer time. Almost a third of IBM’s employees have signed up to allow their PCs to be used by the World Community Grid’s projects.

“More than 100,000 of us have World Community Grid on our laptops. Whenever we are on the phone, like we are now, my laptop is working to find out about the proteins in rice because I’m not typing,” she said.

The idea behind the grid is that unused computer power can add up to deliver the performance of a supercomputer to an organization that couldn’t afford to buy one for itself.

The University of Washington researchers will use the grid in a project that is expected to take 12 to 18 months. Without IBM’s help, it would 200 years to complete the rice study using just the computers the researchers have at hand.

The project involves mapping the structure of rice proteins using three-dimensional models on the computer to find ones that yield more rice, repel bugs, resist drought or contain more nutrients.

Anyone with a computer and Internet access can donate their time.

The project is supported by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Posted by Julie Moran Alterio on Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
| | Comments Off on IBM computers to tackle global rice shortage

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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

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