Gamers Redesign a Protein That Stumped Scientists for Years

Most Popular - General

fold-it game helps science redesign proteinFollowing on the success last September of video gamers to solve the elusive riddle of an HIV enzyme within three weeks, they have again astonished scientists.

Players of the online puzzle game Foldit have redesigned an enzyme model by fiddling with folding proteins on their home computers in search of the best-scoring (lowest-energy) patterns.

"I worked for two years to make these enzymes better and I couldn't do it," says Justin Siegel, a post-doctoral researcher working in biophysics in Baker's group. "Foldit players were able to make a large jump in structural space and I still don't fully understand how they did it."

The Fold-it games are devised by the Computer Science and Engineering Departments at the University of Washington to put players' intuitions to work on problems for researchers in fields like biochemistry.

Next up will be a more useful target--potent versions of small protein inhibitors that bind to and block the 1918 pandemic influenza virus.

(READ the story in Scientific-American)

Please register and/or log-in to post comment.

RSS Feed

Add GNN to your favorite
newsfeed reader!

(includes myYahoo and Google)

Subscribe to GNN newsfeed!



I think there needs to be a change of consciousness with the news ... to try to seek a higher ground. Why can't it be more representative of the way the world really is? I think we don't know what the bombardment of crime and violence does to our minds, I think we're in denial about it.

- Oprah Winfrey


View all