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Online gamers solve microbiology puzzle, contribute to anti-HIV solutions

Matt Daniel, @MVMatt
September 19, 2011
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Hey guys, look! Gamers are good for something! After struggling for some time to successfully map the structure of M-PMV, "a protein involved in a virus that causes a form of simian AIDS," scientists decided to hand the task off into more capable hands. Unfortunately, the only hands they could find were those of online gamers.

Always willing to rise to a challenge, however, the gamers didn't disappoint. Through the use of a program called Foldit, which takes the mapping of molecular structures and transforms them into a sort of puzzle game, gamers (particularly a group calling themselves the Foldit Contenders) were able to successfully map the protein. Scientists hope that the crowdsourced solution can be used to design new drugs, such as treatments for HIV. Way to prove our worth to society, folks. You've made us proud.

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