New software uses your Android smartphone / tablet’s idle processing power to find cure for deadly diseases, and for searching for new stars.

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Developed at University of California, Berkeley, BOINC – which stands for Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing – was recently updated for Android to allow anyone with a smartphone or tablet on Android 2.3 (or higher) to join volunteer distributed computing programs.

Currently available distributed computing programs include IBM World Community Grid for finding cures to life-threatening diseases like AIDS, and Einstein@Home for analyzing data from the world’s largest radio telescope for finding new stars.

If you feel that this will take a toll on your phone’s already terrible battery life, you should know that BOINC – by default – will only run when your phone is charging, has already charged more than 90%, and is connected to WiFi. Most people set their phones to charge all night, and they do get fully charged in a couple of hours, so that means BOINC will get a good 3-4 hours of processing power every night from your device.

You can download the app from Google Play here. Happy computing!

via CNET (image via Flickr)