Let the Games Begin: AIDS version

This is kinda cool: "In just three weeks, online gamers deciphered the structure of a retrovirus protein that has stumped scientists for over a decade … their breakthrough opens doors for a new AIDS drug design." Kind of reminds me of the SETI program that used a distributed computing model to track potential messages from "out there." In this case, scientists had hit a wall in their efforts to deactivate a protein called "protease," which "plays a critical role in how some viruses, including HIV, multiply." Scientists in Washington state decided to give a computer program, called "Foldit," a go (it turns science problems into computer games). Gamers stepped up, and very quickly created helpful computer models, which the scientists can now use in their research. Talk about bonus rounds!

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