How gamers might have cured AIDS

…or at least struck a big blow in the fight on HIV/AIDS.

There’s an online gaming group called Foldit that lets users fold protein molecules, given a few guidelines, into whatever they want. You get more points for doing it ‘better’, as per their Science Info Page. The folded models are then used by scientists doing research on these new proteins.

The structure of one protein in HIV has kept scientists stumped for quite a while, and has been an obstacle in treating, curing and preventing AIDS. But once it hit the Foldit gaming community, the players found its pattern in just three weeks.

Check out this video of Foldit, and learn more about how the game works and scores you.

Pretty interesting way of gaming. Like a puzzle game.

One of several cool parts is that you are doing some really complex spatial puzzles, and can compete with many other people. Another is that knowing the rules of protein molecules’ folding patterns will help, so knowing the kung-fu of organic chemistry will help you out. Yet another is that it’s, you know, helping make the world better.

Go to the Foldit website, become a member, game away, and save the world.

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