Never let it be said that video games are a total waste of time. Despite constantly being bashed in the media, gamers have aided scientists in breaking an enzyme puzzle that could aid in developing drugs to battle AIDs virus.

Using the Foldit, a fun-for-purpose video game developed by the University of Washington, gamers are divided into competing groups and tasked with unfolding a chain of amino acids using a set of online tools. In just three weeks, gamers succeeded in solving a problem that had baffled scientists for over a decade and years of automated research had failed by creating an accurate 3D model of the enzyme of an AIDs-like virus.

Results of the discovery were posted in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, where gamers and scientists were credited as co-authors. Scientists hope that the discovery will lead to the development of new anti-viral drugs.

Thanks to JeffPrime and Annatar for the catch.


Online gamers crack AIDS virus enzyme puzzle at University of Washington

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

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Stacy "Martuk" Jones was a long-time news editor and community manager for many of our previous game sites, such as Age of Conan. Stacy has since moved on to become a masked super hero, battling demons in another dimension.