Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Want to fold some proteins?

In a previous post, I proposed that A&P students should be aware of the basic elements of protein folding.  To follow up, I'd like to mention a interesting phenomenon related to protein folding and "citizen science" using an online game called Foldit.  

The Foldit game is an online puzzle game in which anybody can try their hand and finding which way a given protein folds most efficiently.  Interestingly, this has proven to yield useful results for biochemists not obtainable by traditional methods.

You may want to mention the Foldit game to students.  I've already posted it at my blog The A&P Student.

Want to know more?
Online Gamers Achieve First Crowd-Sourced Redesign of Protein
Jessica Marshall & Nature magazine
Scientific American Online January 22, 2012
[Brief article about recent redesign of a protein by online gamers using Foldit. Original paper published in Nature Biotechnology]

Foldit Online Protein Puzzle
Scientific American Citizen Science accessed 23 January 2012
[Brief description of the online game Foldit and the goals of the project.]

Foldit - Solve Puzzles for Science
[Direct link to portal for the game Foldit]