Friday, September 23, 2011

Protein Folding Games

Sometimes solving difficult problems really comes down to being able to ask the right question in the right way.  Once you've done that the answer emerges.  These folks took a complex problem, protein folding, and made a video game of it.   Then many game players were able to do what gamers do... optimize (usually for points of some sort).  They were able to put together a better solution than the scientists have been able to so far.
http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/09/gamers-discover-protein-structure-relevant-to-hiv-drugs.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

It makes me think that if we could come up with a good problem to throw at something like the Mechanical Turk, where people compete to solve problems for money, maybe we could solve some really big problems.