Gamers now have the ultimate comeback for anyone who ever claims that their passion is leads to increased violence, mental retardation, humanity’s downfall and whatnot: A group of gamers spent three weeks playing Foldit, an online protein-folding game, and in the course of doing so helped scientists develop the structure of an enzyme that could be used to help fight HIV and AIDS.
Reports the LA Times:
What the gamers were able to accomplish in unlocking the structure of a protein called M-PMV was something that scientists, engineers and automated computer programs haven’t been to pull off in about a decade’s worth of attempts, according to a study published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.
Foldit is a game produced by the University of Washington’s Center for Game Science and department of Computer Science and Engineering, which also conducted the experiment of getting gamers to unlock the protein structure. The M-PMV protein is one of the enzymes that the HIV virus uses to multiply and grow into AIDS, the study said. Mapping out the structure of the protein could help scientists develop drugs to combat HIV and AIDS.
And with that the cult of gaming has done more good for humanity than most of the world’s religion’s have done in years.
Nerds who saved the world, your reward awaits…
I have a feeling that one of her is way better than 72 virgins on any day.