Monday, September 19, 2011

Let the Games Begin: AIDS version

This is kinda cool:

"In just three weeks, online gamers deciphered the structure of a retrovirus protein that has stumped scientists for over a decade ... their breakthrough opens doors for a new AIDS drug design."

Kind of reminds me of the SETI program that used a distributed computing model to track potential messages from "out there." In this case, scientists had hit a wall in their efforts to deactivate a protein called "protease," which "plays a critical role in how some viruses, including HIV, multiply."

Scientists in Washington state decided to give a computer program, called "Foldit," a go (it turns science problems into computer games). Gamers stepped up, and very quickly created helpful computer models, which the scientists can now use in their research.

Talk about bonus rounds!
blog comments powered by Disqus