What do Foldit players do?

What do Foldit players do?

Foldit is a popular online citizen-science game, in which players are scored on the structure of proteins that they’ve folded. In Foldit puzzles, for example, players are rewarded for solving clashes and voids, places where the protein is not consistent with known biochemical patterns.

Why was Foldit a protein puzzle game created?

One of the challenges of developing Foldit was to create a game that even nonscientists could play. The developers found a way to make the proteins similar to a toy—something that players could manipulate and intuitively fold into a stable structure without necessarily understanding the science behind it.

Is Foldit free?

Free Online Game “Foldit” Challenges Gamers to Design Proteins From Scratch. A team of researchers encoded their specialized knowledge into the computer game Foldit to enable citizen scientists to successfully design synthetic proteins for the first time.

Why don’t we know how proteins fold?

When proteins are created, the machine that reads the directions from DNA to create the long chains of amino acids can make mistakes. Scientists estimate that this machine, the ribosome, makes mistakes in as many as 1 in every 7 proteins! These mistakes can make the resulting proteins less likely to fold properly.

When do proteins fold?

Proteins must fold to their active native state when they emerge from the ribosome and when they repeatedly unfold and refold during their lifetime (1, 2). The folding process is difficult (3, 4) and potentially dangerous (5). Biological health depends on its success and disease on its failure.

How do proteins fold?

Folded proteins are held together by various molecular interactions. During translation, each protein is synthesized as a linear chain of amino acids or a random coil which does not have a stable 3D structure. The amino acids in the chain eventually interact with each other to form a well-defined, folded protein.

What happens if a protein folds incorrectly?

Proteins that fold improperly may also impact the health of the cell regardless of the function of the protein. When proteins fail to fold into their functional state, the resulting misfolded proteins can be contorted into shapes that are unfavorable to the crowded cellular environment.

How is Foldit used to predict protein structure?

Foldit attempts to predict the structure of a protein by taking advantage of humans’ puzzle-solving intuitions and having people play competitively to fold the best proteins. Protein design: Since proteins are part of so many diseases, they can also be part of the cure.

How did Foldit solve Riddle of HIV enzyme?

The online game poses protein-folding puzzles, and participants provided insights recently that solved the structure of an enzyme involved in reproduction of HIV When video gamers armed with the world’s most powerful supercomputers take on science and its most vexing riddles, who wins? Sometimes, it’s the gamers.

What is Foldit and what is the science behind it?

Foldit is a revolutionary crowdsourcing computer game enabling you to contribute to important scientific research. This page describes the science behind Foldit and how your playing can help. What is protein folding?

Why are so many different ways a protein can fold?

The number of different ways even a small protein can fold is astronomical because there are so many degrees of freedom. Figuring out which of the many, many possible structures is the best one is regarded as one of the hardest problems in biology today and current methods take a lot of money and time, even for computers.