You know, glowing kittens and cats isn’t the only way to keep the AIDS scourge at bay – it seems that gamers might have a role to play in the fight against this relentless virus. Researchers over at the University of Washington have joined forces with gamers, resulting in a breakthrough in AIDS research which might see the unlocking of new drug treatments for the wasting disease. The game in question? Foldit (don’t confuse it with the PS3’s Folding@home program) is an online game that will see players collaborate and compete against one another to predict the structure of protein molecules.
When playing Foldit, gamers assisted researchers in solving problems that has stumped them for over a decade – which is, to figure out how to configure the structure of a retrovirus enzyme related to AIDS. Imagine that, a problem that has stumped the supposed cream of the crop for more than 10 years just took days to solve in the hands of gamers.
I guess they might as well hand over the algorithm to solve global warming as well as kickstarting the economy to gamers as well – that might work.