Gamers are awesome, go on, pat yourself on the back….

There is this program called Foldit which anybody can install and it runs a puzzle game that allows players to work out biological puzzles on how to fold protein molecular structures into the most efficient way possible, the better the player folds the puzzle the better the protein created. Players compete for higher scores on each protein puzzle by working out the best shape to make each protein. There are various limitations and reactions when the strands get too close so it’s quite tricky.

For the past 15 years some Sciency (real word, trust me.) chaps have been struggling to come up with a working structure for a protein to help cure AIDS, which originated in Rhesus monkeys. They were all out of ideas and about to give up but then some smart person suggested putting it on Foldit and letting the worlds gamers have a go. Turns out that was a good idea because they found a working structure for said protein and as a result Scientists are now one step closer to forming a cure for AIDS.

Clever Stuff this Science thing!