Posted by Jason Moriarty

Online gaming brings us one step closer to curing HIV!  HIV is normally a pretty depressing subject – but I have some good news for a change.

HIV utilizes a very specific protein to multiply; if we can figure out how this protein is structured then we can figure out a way to stop HIV from replicating. Scientists have tried for over a decade to decipher this protein’s structure to no avail; it was too complex. Scientists finally decided that a new approach was needed and called upon the online gaming community for assistance.

By turning the HIV protein into a 3D online puzzle using Foldit (an online puzzle solver) gamers were able to decipher the structure of protein in just 10 days! This truly shows the potential in crowd-sourcing games that utilize thousands of brains to attack one problem. I also find it super interesting that game-nerds were able to crack the protein code that eluded scientists for years. Long live the nerds!

The applications for this technology surpass the medical field and can be used to make stronger metals, healthier foods, and discover new methods of propulsion. Everything on the planet revolves around science – and everything that revolves around science can be enhanced by this gaming technology.  The future is here, and it’s a game I’d like to be a part of.