Online Gamers Crack AIDS Enzyme Dilemma

FoldIt logo

Online gamers have used a game called FoldIt to help decipher "the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus," helping scientists to develop "new insights for the design of antiretroviral drugs."

While the enzyme had "thwarted scientists for a decade," the entire process took the online gamers only about 3 weeks to crack.

Commenting on the project's success, FoldIt's creator Seth Cooper has stated, "Games provide a framework for bringing together the strengths of computers and humans. The results in this week's paper show that gaming, science and computation can be combined to make advances that were not possible before."

The project is also discussed in a recent paper published by the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.