The lights are on
In a victory for gamification and science, online players of the Foldit
application managed to unravel a complicated HIV-like enzyme that scientists have puzzled over for a decade. They figured it out in three weeks flat, too.
Thanks to the efforts of the Foldit community, scientists potentially have greater insight on the monomeric protease enzyme, which is in the same family as HIV. This could allow for new treatments. The findings have been published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, and you can read them here.
Foldit is an application that adds a competitive element to the task of unraveling complicated proteins via PC. Traditional 2D images of these proteins are nearly useless to pharmaceutical researchers, which is why it's critical to have 3D models of the structures. Computers don't do a very good job of unpacking the shapes. That's where gamers come in. Check out the video below for a good explanation of how it works. If you'd like to try it for yourself, visit Foldit's site.
[Source: Yahoo News, via a news tip from Gian]
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all hail the nerds
That is legit! I am a bio chem major and this is the stuff I live for!!!!!!!!
That's so good that people are finally understanding the power of this technology we gamers have already mastered. I think ideas like this r going to help solve lots of problems in the future. The Internet is all knowing.
Rock on gamers. We win science.
chalk another one up for us
Wow. That's some good news to hear. Gamers saving the world, one program at a time.
We did what we must because we can, For science.