Video Gamers Solved Molecular Puzzle To Help Solve The Mystery Of AIDS Virus

In 2011, video game players contributed to solving a molecular puzzle that kept scientists thinking for years. The video gamers’ accomplishment can help provide possible treatment to AIDS and other types of diseases.

They are online video gamers who can find interesting games unblocked for the fun and the challenge. Surprisingly, they come together to unlock one thing that kept scientists thinking for years.

Firas Khatib, University of Washington Biochemist said that this is just a tiny piece to solving the puzzle but an integral part to help find the right treatment for the AIDS virus.

The achievement of video game players on solving the online game, Foldit, is a huge step for science. The collaborative online game enlisted various internet users looking for alien planets, deciphering ancient texts, and carry out other scientific works that pure computing power cannot complete easily.

“People have reasoning skills. This is something that computers do not have,” These are the words of Seth Cooper, computer scientist at UW and the lead developer and designer of the game Foldit. “Games supply a structure for combining the strong points of computers and the innate talents of humans.”

Deciphering a retrovirus

For over ten years, a major international group of scientists had been racking their brains to determine the in-depth molecular composition of a protein-cutting chemical out of an AIDS-like virus seen in rhesus monkeys. This kind of enzymes referred to as retroviral proteases, take up an integral part in the spread of the virus. If medical scientists can determine their composition, they can certainly design medicines to halt the virus in its trails.

This had been compared to designing a key to unlock mother nature’s locks. The challenge is that these enzymes are more difficult to unravel than the regular lock system. The enzymes have countless ways which the bonds within the atoms inside the enzyme’s compounds can turn and twist. To develop the suitable chemical key, there is a need to find out the most useful, lowest-energy setting for the molecule, something that nature has naturally come up with.

That is where Foldit comes into play. The game was created so that online players can work with virtual molecular components that appear to be various colored, curled-up Tinkertoy pieces. These virtual molecules are a simulation of the same chemical protocols that are followed by genuine molecules. Once an individual taking part in the game develops an even more elegant framework that demonstrates a lower energy condition for the molecule, the score rises. If the framework needs additional energy, or if this does not show real-life chemistry, the score goes lower.

Read more about this amazing achievement from NBC news.

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