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Gamers Help AIDS Researchers Solve Enzyme Puzzle Options
Daemon
Posted: Friday, September 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM
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Gamers Help AIDS Researchers Solve Enzyme Puzzle

In just weeks, online gamers were able to solve a puzzle that has stumped AIDS researchers for years. They did so using a game called Foldit, which allows players to compete against one another to, among other things, predict a protein's optimal—or most stable—three-dimensional structure. In this case, players were presented with M-PMV retroviral protease, an enzyme that is critical to the development of a virus similar to HIV. The protein model that the gamers came up with could help scientists develop better AIDS drugs. More...
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, September 25, 2011 3:37:31 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
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Location: Miami, Florida, United States
Daemon wrote:
Gamers Help AIDS Researchers Solve Enzyme Puzzle

In just weeks, online gamers were able to solve a puzzle that has stumped AIDS researchers for years. They did so using a game called Foldit, which allows players to compete against one another to, among other things, predict a protein's optimal—or most stable—three-dimensional structure. In this case, players were presented with M-PMV retroviral protease, an enzyme that is critical to the development of a virus similar to HIV. The protein model that the gamers came up with could help scientists develop better AIDS drugs. More...


This is an interesting development in the larger field of distributed computing. It takes advantage of the human brain's natural capacity for pattern matching as a key method within distributed processing.

Distributed computing itself is an interesting field. It emerged from the insight that solutions to procedural, scheduling, and economic problems encountered with distributing computer processing over a network could be derived from and applied to similar problems in the areas of multi-threading, parallel processing, and clustering.

Perhaps the best known example is the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Another influential player is the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) which has popularized the "@home" suffix -- for example, a client for the SETI project that is implemented within the BOINC framework is referred to as "seti@home".

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
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