"Gamers have solved the structure of a retrovirus enzyme whose configuration had stumped scientists for more than a decade. The gamers achieved their discovery by playing Foldit, an online game that allows players to collaborate and compete in predicting the structure of protein molecules. After scientists repeatedly failed to piece together the structure of a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus, they called in the Foldit players.
Leave it to video gamers to find a better way to shepherd proteins into their optimal three-dimensional shapes.
Plying a freely available game and matched against automated computer routines designed to ascertain how amino acids twist into their ideal shapes, science journal Nature reports video gamers took top marks, folding proteins better than a computer.
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