Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gamers solve molecular puzzle that baffled scientists

Very cool! Gamers solving real problems. This could be right up my budding computer programmer's alley and could help others as well!

Cosmic Log - Gamers solve molecular puzzle that baffled scientists:

The monkey-virus puzzle solution demonstrates that Foldit and other science-oriented video games could be used to address a wide range of other scientific challenges — ranging from drug development to genetic engineering for future biofuels. "My hope is that scientists will see this research and give us more of those cases," Khatib said.
He's not alone in that hope. "Foldit shows that a game can turn novices into domain experts capable of producing first-class scientific discoveries," Zoran Popovic, director of University of Washington's Center for Game Science, said in today's news release. "We are currently applying the same approach to change the way math and science are taught in school."
That's something that Carter Kimsey, program director for the National Science Foundation's Division of Biological Infrastructure, would love to see happen. "After this discovery, young people might not mind doing their science homework," she quipped.
One caveat, though: Playing Foldit isn't exactly like playing Bejeweled. "Let's be honest, proteins aren't the sexiest video game out there," Khatib told me.Give the game a whirl, and let me know whether it's addictive or a drag.

This story also lists other "games for science" that you might want to check out. I haven't looked into any of these, so no endorsement yet! :)

More games for science:

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