In this video excerpt from NOVA scienceNOW, learn about Foldit, an online game in which players contribute to scientific research by solving puzzles. The objective of the game is to fold proteins into optimal 3D configurations. By identifying the structural configurations of proteins, scientists can make advances in the treatment of diseases and other problems. One of Foldit’s creators describes the challenge of creating a game that nonscientists could play and take an interest in without necessarily understanding the science of proteins. In 2011, Foldit players identified the structure of a protein that helps HIV reproduce. This was a major accomplishment and will help researchers develop treatments for HIV.
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