Computer games help scientists unravel virus strains.

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I came across an interesting piece by Ian Steward in The Sunday Star Times which focused on an online game called “Foldit”.

“Foldit”is a prime example of digital technology working as an educational medium with the added rapture of being orchestrated by “gamers”themselves.

In three intensive weeks of competition, the game playing public have found a solution to an evasive Aids causing virus that had eluded scientists for 15 years!  Apparently the Foldit software (as created by Coromandel man,Renton Innes) rearranges 3D virtual space on structures like amino acids to come up with sequences that mirror enzyme structures most likely found in nature…and use the created enzymes for scientific problem solving,like curtailing nuclear reactor pipes from erosion….or map the structure of an aids causing virus!

Of course you’re never likely to hear anything about such advances,mainly because they’re highlighted in journals such as “Nature Structural and Molecular Biology”…not something you’re likely to grab for a quick flick-thru with your Saturday morning muffin and flat white.

To read the piece in full,click on http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/games/5755509/Gamers-1-virus-nil

 

Contribution by Preecey

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