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lagos, Nigeria
dangel eyez is a blog,created in 2010,brings you all the latest worth-blogging gists and finds joy in exposing great people of our time and great talent!! follow me on twitter @dangeldiva

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle,bring scientists closer to finding the cure

     So I guess playing game is not a waste of time as people think.

Online gamers  have deciphered the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus that had defeated the efforts of scientists for a decade.

Aids virus

"The exploit is published on Sunday in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, where -- exceptionally in scientific publishing -- both gamers and researchers are honoured as co-authors."
Their target was a monomeric protease enzyme, a cutting agent in the complex molecular tailoring of retroviruses, a family that includes HIV. Figuring out the structure of proteins is vital for understanding the causes of many diseases and developing drugs to block them. 

Figuring out the structure of proteins is vital for understanding the causes of many diseases and developing drugs to block them. But a microscope gives only a flat image. Pharmacologists, though, need a 3-D picture that "unfolds" the molecule and rotates it in order to reveal potential targets for drugs.

In 2008,  a fun-for-purpose video game was developed by the University of Washignton  in which gamers, divided into competing groups, compete to unfold chains of amino acids -- the building blocks of proteins -- using a set of online tools. homepage -> http://folding.stanford.edu/
To the astonishment of the scientists, the gamers produced an accurate model of the enzyme in just three weeks what has taken scientists decades.
"We wanted to see if human intuition could succeed where automated methods had failed," Firas Khatib of the university's biochemistry lab said in a press release. "The ingenuity of game players is a formidable force that, if properly directed, can be used to solve a wide range of scientific problems."

One of Foldit's creators, Seth Cooper, explained why gamers had succeeded where computers had failed.
"People have spatial reasoning skills, something computers are not yet good at," he said.
"Games provide a framework for bringing together the strengths of computers and humans. The results in this week's paper show that gaming, science and computation can be combined to make advances that were not possible before."

funny comment i found-> "Scientists are struggling to find aliens, while gamers have been blasting them off for decades." #TRUETALK 
SO okay people, it wasn't mortal kombat, football manager or their likes
those ones are probably still a waste of time..LOL
These gamers have solved a huge problem and as they say, its a big step to finding the cure to AIDS as well as some other presently incurable diseases.
I asked a friend a question after I read this story

much luv,
dangel eyez 

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