Posts Tagged ‘Foldit’

Playing Games For The Good Of Humanity, With Phylo

Hopefully you remember FoldIt, the protein manipulating game that instantly solved years-old biological puzzles. It’s probably the most well known example of a crowd-sourced citizen science project that had immediately remarkable success. It’s in this same field that Phylo exists – a game designed to sequence genomes, while the player is enjoying some fairly familiar match-3-style colour matching. I spoke to designer Jerome Waldispuhl, Assistant Professor at the School of Computer Science McGill University, Montreal, to find out how it is that fun can be recycled into progress. This is gaming literally changing the world, perhaps even saving lives.

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PC Gamers Save The World, A Bit

Well, this is all perfectly clear.

Perhaps you’re not familiar with the search for the molecular structure of a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus found in rhesus monkeys. But groups of scientists have been trying to fathom this mystery for years. And it’s just been cracked by PC gamers.

Why is this exciting? Because it’s believed that this information could be crucial to better figuring out how the AIDS virus works, and how it can be tackled. The findings, discovered via the game Foldit, are published online ahead of the next issue of Nature: Structural & Molecular Biology, with the authorship listing both scientists and gamers.

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