How amazing is this: U.S. gamers, playing a protetin-folding game called Foldit, have helped to unlock the structure of an AIDS-related enzyme the scientific community had been unable to for a decade.
The solution represents a significant step forward in the quest to cure retroviral diseases like AIDS. AIDS, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, severely compromises the body’s cellular immunity, making sufferers dramatically less resistance to infection. It’s considered a global pandemic, infecting over 33 million people worldwide with nearly three million estimated to become infected and two million actually dying from it annually.
To date, there is no cure, but we may be a trifle closer, thanks to a freebie science-angled computer game.
This is the second Nature paper we published with Foldit discoveries. This is [a] truly amazing accomplishment. All Foldit players should be proud.
And that’s not all—the game’s apparently on the verge of several additional breakthroughs, too:
We also have two more in the pipeline one of the algorithmic discoveries in Foldit recipes, and a brand new synthetic protein discovered primarily due to the insight of Foldit protein design. Stay tuned.