Foldit: Innovative Biology for Gamers

Aug 05 2010 Published by under Biology, Journal Club, Streaming videos

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This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.org

Guessing how a protein will fold up based on its DNA sequence is often too complex for even the most powerful computer programs. Now biochemists and computer scientists at my alma mater, the University of Washington, have collaborated to create Foldit, a free online computer game where online gamers do the work.

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Foldit: This Computer Game is a Citizen Science Project

Mar 21 2009 Published by under Biology, Molecular Biology, Streaming videos

Would you like to play a new computer game and help scientists analyze protein chemistry -- at the same time? Here is a fun and interesting computer puzzle game that is designed to fold proteins -- the objective is to correctly fold a protein into the smallest possible space. This game, Foldit, which University of Washington biochemist David Baker helped create, is being played by thousands of people around the world. Baker is using Foldit to help him analyze the structure of proteins, because humans are a lot smarter at this than supercomputers. The results from this game are helping Baker and other scientists learn how to design proteins to do particular jobs, from vaccinating against malaria to fighting cancer. Below the fold is a tutorial, audio report and a link to this really fun game [3:45]

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