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#59325 - 09/21/11 01:24 AM Online gamers, Foldit and AIDS enzyme puzzles!
ta2zz Offline
veteran member

Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

Online gamers have achieved a feat beyond the realm of Second Life or Dungeons and Dragons: they have deciphered the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus that had thwarted scientists for a decade.

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.

Full article

I found this very interesting and might have to rethink how I judge computer gamers.

We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams. ~Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

#59352 - 09/21/11 09:42 PM Re: Online gamers, Foldit and AIDS enzyme puzzles! [Re: ta2zz]
Managor Offline

Registered: 07/06/11
Posts: 110
Sounds like Folding@Home,(Which I take part in also) but that one looks like people try to fold them where F@H does it based off a bot-net like group.
#63105 - 12/29/11 12:11 AM Re: Online gamers, Foldit and AIDS enzyme puzzles! [Re: ta2zz]
neurosys Offline

Registered: 10/01/07
Posts: 26
Loc: san diego, CA
 Originally Posted By: ta2zz

I found this very interesting and might have to rethink how I judge computer gamers.


Firstly, I enjoyed the news you posted. even though I'm familiar with the distributed cracking, I did not know about this development.

Secondly, I must defend the gamers \:\) I'm glad someone in the world who didn't before may now be more likely to see some value in them or something that comes from their obsessions.

FYI...Alot of us where largely enthralled in Computer SCIENCE, the games are just how it starts. DoD says that a 4 hour game session (certain types ONLY) was shown to improve 'adaptive intelligence', basically you get better at reacting to unexpected situations, failed plans, thinking deep but on the fly. This is of course directly contrary to the 'waste of time' or 'rotting your brain' view of gaming.

Perhaps all this is of no interest, and I dont mean to derail the topic, I wanted to expand on your comment about gamers, but I'm not trying to argue hehe, in fact I'm delighted. I am all defensive about my chosen career (blame my ex's) and even at my University in a gaming/simulation degree program, the ignorant instructors still perpetuate the 'lazy gamer' stereotype. I'll never defend dysfunctional people gaming obsessively, but there simply are benefits to gameplay other than the obvious. Not only is it provable, its pretty easy to see if one cracks the mind open a bit, stares down the facts and sees what is really happening: Relaxed learning, practicing recognition and problem solving and dealing with conflict.

I wrote an essay on it for a class, I've debated posting it but I'll go ahead. The references are the good part if ya wanna skip the essay and jump to the citations they are at the bottom.

Either way, I'd be interested to know your thoughts on my thoughts on the matter.
The Emperor Has No Clothes.

#63111 - 12/29/11 01:20 AM Re: Online gamers, Foldit and AIDS enzyme puzzles! [Re: neurosys]
TV is God Moderator Offline

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 273
Loc: The Cornhole
Crowd-sourcing is an interesting idea that seems to be growing in popularity. One sucessful crowd-source business is crowdflower, which has been utilized by some big names in the tech business.

No matter how good the technology gets, sometimes it's just much easier for a human being to figure something than a computer. (Like, say, combing a photo upload site for porn pictures. Hard for a computer to know what's a pair of titties. Easy for me and the little guy in my pants.)

Amazon has a service where you can earn miniscule amounts of money by being a small part of, what they call, artificial artificial intelligence. If you ant to make a few pennies being an organic cpu in the matrix check out Amazon Mechanical Turk

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