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Gamers cure AIDS!
09-20-2011, 06:29 AM #1
Kreeper Griobhtha
Posts:10,606 Threads:635 Joined:Feb 2011
Well, not quite cured...


Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle



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.

Cracking the enzyme "provides new insights for the design of antiretroviral drugs," says the study, referring to the lifeline medication against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

"We wanted to see if human intuition could succeed where automated methods had failed," Firas Khatib of the university's biochemistry lab said in a press release. "The ingenuity of game players is a formidable force that, if properly directed, can be used to solve a wide range of scientific problems."


Hell yeah!

All your science problems are belong to us!


hi5.gif

I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride I am the sky
I am not your blowing wind, I am the lightning
I am not your autumn moon, I am the night
The night
09-20-2011, 01:11 PM #2
Octo Mother Superior
Posts:42,618 Threads:1,469 Joined:Feb 2011
(09-20-2011, 06:29 AM)Kreeper Wrote:  Hell yeah!

All your science problems are belong to us!

ğkkin eh! hi5.gif

İmage
Anonymous Kritter Show this Post
09-20-2011, 01:13 PM #3
Anonymous Kritter Incognito Anonymous
 
:rolleyes: I hope he grew out of that phase.
09-20-2011, 01:19 PM #4
JayRodney ⓐⓛⓘⓔⓝ
Posts:31,286 Threads:1,438 Joined:Feb 2011
Poor guy ate nothing but the heads from chocolate rabbits from the ages of 5 to 19.

wonder.gif
Anonymous Kritter Show this Post
09-20-2011, 02:14 PM #5
Anonymous Kritter Incognito Anonymous
 
rofl.gif



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