Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

FoldIt game’s next play: crowdsourcing better drug design

Two years ago, FoldIt made headlines, lots of them, when players of the online protein-folding video game took three weeks to solve the three dimensional structure of a simian retroviral protein that is used in animal models of HIV, but whose structure had eluded biochemists for more than a decade. Seth Cooper, the game’s co-creator, captured the attention of the crowd at the TEDMED medical technology conference in Washington, DC by recounting how thousands of players competed in that FoldIt challenge despite the lack of prize money or prestige. He even brought on-stage the winner, a beaming British lab technician named Mimi Minet whose identity had not been previously disclosed to the public. 


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