Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle

Gamers solve molecular puzzle that baffled scientists

There is this website, Fold.it. People go there to play a video game about Protein Folding. Players can contribute to science by solving these puzzles.

Wikipedia sums up the news nicely:
“. . . online gamers used Foldit to decipher the crystal structure of M-PMV retroviral protease, which is linked to an AIDS-like virus. Players produced an accurate 3D model of the enzyme in just three weeks. The problem had thwarted scientists for a decade.”  

This is significant: We haven’t hit the singularity yet, but the emergence of tools like Foldit that enable the masses to cooperate, will greatly accelerate technological progress.

  • Captchas are often part of a transcription project, and you’re actually helping transcribe words from old texts.

The beautiful cooperation that we have enabled with the Internet is throwing us forward. As more people participate, and new forms of participation are created, the benefits to and advancement of humankind will be exponential.

Jack Diehl

Jack Diehl

Jack Diehl has been deeply involved in growth of virtual worlds for over a decade, from multiplayer role playing games into platforms for social interaction and artistic expression. Jack is fascinated by the freedom of speech and memes people are exhibiting online and is dedicated to seeing these freedoms protected in Real Life. Jack sees the Internet as history's greatest asset for growth; creating a new age of reason and accountability.
Jack Diehl