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May 21, 2009

Gamers Help Solve Real Science Puzzles

Scientists developed a game, Foldit, that asks gamers to help reveal the shortcuts nature uses to weave a tangle of amino acids into a protein. Players are asked to follow laws of physics and biochemistry to come up with the most efficient way to create a protein out of its given amino acids.Many of the solutions offered by Foldit players were entered into a protein prediction contest, CASP. Foldit players did surprisingly well; even winning one of the protein puzzles. Meaning that in one category gamers had beat scientists in projecting protein structures.These proteins could actually have therapeutic value in the real world, outside the game.

Read about Foldit and the 13 year old protein folding prodigy, Aristides Poehlman in the Wired Article: http://www.wired.com/medtech/genetics/magazine/17-05/ff_protein?currentPage=all

Posted by undergrad at May 21, 2009 10:33 AM

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