Friday, September 30, 2011

Online Gamers Solve a Tricky AIDS Puzzle

"Who says you need a biochemistry degree to engineer an AIDS breakthrough? As our colleague Matt Peckham wrote on Techland, a bunch of online gamers have managed to crack a puzzle that AIDS researchers have been trying to solve for years.

"Online Foldit players figured out the structure of a retroviral protease, a type of protein that is crucial to the replication of HIV. In this case, gamers worked on the protein that allows the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV) to progress into simian AIDS in rhesus monkeys. Legitimate scientists have tried unsuccessfully to model the protein; Foldit players working in concert were able to "solve" the structure in a matter of weeks."

Very interesting to imagine other problems that could be converted to game scenarios and crowdsourced.


No comments:

Post a Comment