chicksdaddy writes "Security researchers often use language and metaphors from the natural world to describe problems in the virtual world. (Consider 'virus,' and 'worm.') Now it turns out that the links may be more than just rhetoric. Microsoft Researchers say that tools they developed to detect spammers' efforts to avoid anti-spam filters were also great at spotting mutations in the HIV virus. A report from Microsoft Research in honor of World AIDS Day yesterday described how Microsoft Researchers David Heckerman and Jonathan Carlson were called upon to help AIDS researchers analyze data about how the human immune system attacks the HIV virus. To do so, they turned to tools and algorithms developed at Microsoft to detect and block spam e-mail in the company's Hotmail, Outlook and Exchange e-mail products."