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Crowd-sourcing to gamers for scientific discovery

22 September, 2011 3 comments
Foldit

A screenshot of the online Foldit game that allows players to compete against each other to figure out molecular folding patterns of proteins. (Image from the University of Washington)

Whoever said playing games is a waste of time? University of Washington researchers have harnessed the power, skill, and determination of the wide world of gamers to solve the conformation of a retrovirus enzyme that foiled scientists for over a decade. It took gamers playing Foldit, an online protein-folding game, three weeks to create a structure that was close enough to the real thing for the scientists at the University of Washington to solve the problem. Thank goodness that human intuition still can beat computer automation!

http://www.washington.edu/news/articles/gamers-succeed-where-scientists-fail

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