RNA World (beta) is a distributed supercomputer that uses Internet-connected computers to advance RNA-related research. You can participate by downloading and running a free programme on your computer.
RNA World (beta) is based at the Rechenkraft.net e.V. research facility located in Germany.
In contrast to classical bioinformatic approaches, RNA World does not rely on individual desktop computers, web servers or supercomputers. Instead, it represents a continuously evolving cluster of world-wide distributed machines of any type. As such, RNA World is very heterogenous and, depending on the sub-project, currently addresses Internet-connected computers running Linux, Windows and OSX operating systems - your computer could be an important part of it. The fact that hardware and electricity costs are shared among the volunteer contributors raises the possibility of performing interesting analyses which under economical aspects would often not be affordable. In return, RNA World is not for profit, exclusively uses open source code and will make its results available to the public.
In its present form, RNA World runs a fully automated high-throughput analysis software version of Infernal, a program suite originally developed in Sean Eddy's laboratory for the systematic identification of non-coding RNAs. The goal of this RNA World sub-project is to systematically identify all known RNA family members in all organisms known to date and make the results available to the public in a timely fashion. With your help, Rechenkraft.net also aims at supplying established bioinformatic databases such as Rfam with the results to help reduce their future maintenance costs.
In contrast to other distributed and grid computing projects, the RNA World developers are currently designing generalized user interfaces that, in parallel to the projects Rechenkraft.net's own research team is following up, allow non-associated individual scientists to submit their own projects in a manner similar to using a web server interface - of course, free of cost.
More information is available at http://www.rechenkraft.net