Monday, September 19, 2011

Gamers Solve HIV Mystery Scientists Could Not

Score one for the geeks in Mom's basement playing games.  Apparently they figured out how a key protein is structured in HIV by playing a game. From a story in PC Magazine:
"Using an online game called Foldit, players were able to predict the structure of a protein called retroviral protease, an enzyme that plays a critical role in the way HIV multiplies. Unlocking the build of the protein could theoretically aid scientists in developing drugs that would stop protease from spreading.
Developed by researchers at the University of Washington, Foldit turns scientific problems into competitive games. Players were charged with using spatial and critical thinking skills to build 3D models of protease. Few of these players had any kind of background in biochemistry. "
Better living through gaming?  

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