Sep 19 2011

Online Gamers Model AIDs Retrovirus Protein

Categories: 2011 SAP TechEd Dave Rathbun @ 3:38 pm

As a follow-up from the SAP TechEd opening keynote on gamification and the power of online gamers:

Gamers solve molecular puzzle that stumped scientists

Scientists had long been puzzled by the molecular structure of a protein-cutting enzyme classified as a “retroviral proteases” and found in an AIDS-like virus afflicting rhesus monkeys. The enzyme helps the virus spread, and it could hold a secret about how AIDS and other diseases are transmitted.

The scientists uploaded the viral structures to an online game called “Foldit” which allows game players to collaborate on solving various three dimensional problems. The results?

Sure, that might not sound like much fun to the average Joe. But gamers on Foldit solved the puzzle in less than 10 days.

More detailed article at