We've covered peer-to-peer technology and developments from the early days, as an example of a powerful social invention in process (see Freenet, for example). We've also covered various incarnations of the use of peer-to-peer to combat disease and facilitate research, be it SETI search for extra-terrestrials, or the more worthy types of Fight Aids At Home.
Now, as detailed in a New York Times article, IBM, in collaboration with the WHO and the UN, are launching the same kind of thing but on a massive scale, and in a more focused way. It will focus on research that helps tackle disease through scientific research, and will be known as the The World Community Grid, presumably providing a central focus for the myriad of other projects already in place. Another example, also, of how the collaborative power of the internet (and ideas that start with 'amateurs' or small, specialist groups) makes its way into the mainstream.