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  1. #1
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle

    Now this kind of stuff rocks:

    http://news.yahoo.com/online-gamers-...175427367.html

    Online gamers have achieved a feat beyond the realm of Second Life or Dungeons and Dragons: they have deciphered the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus that had thwarted scientists for a decade.

    ...Their target was a monomeric protease enzyme, a cutting agent in the complex molecular tailoring of retroviruses, a family that includes HIV.

    Figuring out the structure of proteins is vital for understanding the causes of many diseases and developing drugs to block them.

    But a microscope gives only a flat image of what to the outsider looks like a plate of one-dimensional scrunched-up spaghetti. Pharmacologists, though, need a 3-D picture that "unfolds" the molecule and rotates it in order to reveal potential targets for drugs.

    This is where Foldit comes in.

    Developed in 2008 by the University of Washington, it is a fun-for-purpose video game in which gamers, divided into competing groups, compete to unfold chains of amino acids -- the building blocks of proteins -- using a set of online tools.

    To the astonishment of the scientists, the gamers produced an accurate model of the enzyme in just three weeks...
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #2
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    I saw this, too! SO COOL! Human intuition triumphs where computers fail! Who says video games rot the brain???
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

    My blog:
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  3. #3
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    yeah. I knew playing video games would evolved to job skills/saving the world
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

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    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

  4. #4
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    Ah, nice nice. 'Twould be fantastic if they start implementing more gaming into the science researching process in the future.

  5. #5
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    this is awesome!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    I saw this, too! SO COOL! Human intuition triumphs where computers fail! Who says video games rot the brain???
    The gamers' brains did rot, but it was a worthy sacrifice.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  7. #7
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Amazing and fantastic!

    Nice to see that some of my son's time is well spent, not that he was one of the gamers that reproduced the model!

  8. #8
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Slightly related:
    http://www.lumosity.com/blog/5-video...MTg1MjYxNDEwS0

    I thought it was cool that 3 out of 10 women were gamers, and 35% of gamers who use Luminosity were women.

    (However, I haven't not yet checked to see how they define "gamer.")
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Ahh yeah, University of Washington doin' big thangs.

  10. #10
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Here is a gameplay intro on Youtube:
    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGYJyur4FUA"]Foldit[/YOUTUBE]

    I think it requires a certain type of gamer...

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