Foldit is an online game that enables you to contribute data for medical scientific research by playing it. Foldit attempts to predict the structure of a protein by taking advantage of people’s puzzle-solving skills and having people play competitively to fold the best proteins.
Since proteins are part of many diseases, they can also be part of the cure. Foldit will basically collect game data and use it to predict protein structures. The more knowledge they have about protein folding, the better they can design new proteins to combat the disease-related proteins and eventually find cure for diseases.
We’re collecting data to find out if humans’ pattern-recognition and puzzle-solving abilities make them more efficient than existing computer programs at pattern-folding tasks. If this turns out to be true, we can then teach human strategies to computers and fold proteins faster than ever!
The game play is quite simple but can be very addictive and challenging. You will be given a 3D model of a protein and your job is to find the most stable structure to prevent Amino Acids from clashing. In order to complete a puzzle you must achieve or go beyond the target score. Check out the demo video below to see the game in action.
Foldit will give everyone a chance to contribute in discovering cure of HIV, Cancer and other diseases. If you want to try out the game, head over to their site, register and download the game client which supports both Windows and Mac OS-X operating systems. Who knows, you might be the key to finding cure for diseases which continually kills millions of people.