Foldit, an Online Game for Protein Structure Prediction

Predicting a stable three-dimensional structure from any given amino acid sequence using first physical principles remains a formidable computational challenge. Aiming to recruit human visual and strategic powers to the task, Zoran Popović, David Baker, and colleagues created an online multiplayer game called Foldit, in which thousands of nonscientists compete and collaborate to produce a rich set of search strategies for protein structure refinement. This work, published in the August 2010 issue of Nature, shows that even computationally complex scientific problems can be effectively crowd-sourced using interactive multiplayer games.

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David Baker
Zoran Popović