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Everyone always tells me that video games are rotting my brain and that they are a waste of time.  As a world-leading rationalizer, I decided to try and prove the critics wrong.

Tha main focus of this podcast was on a video game called Fold It.  I’ve logged several hours now on the game and it is pretty fun.  The premise of the game revolves around folding proteins found in  nature to try and mimic how Mother Nature would fold them.  It can be used in a host of different applications, but real world results have already been acheived in the field of AIDS research.  Check out the game at http://fold.it.  Download the game client and I’ll see you in the chatroom!

Some other cool video game-esque inventions have been the Crusher (http://www.hightech-edge.com/crusher-darpa-autonomous-robot-iphone-xbox-controller/1417/)

Surgeons are also getting in on the “game” and controlling robots from across the world with a joystick.  Check it out!

While some may consider this a feeble attempt to cover up a debilitating addiction, I will rest easy anyway – knowing that somehow I’m probably curing AIDS.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for the coverage of the game FoldIt.

    Computers have enormous computational ability. Man has superior spatial, intuitive, and reasoning skills. Together, they can achieve more than the sum of their parts.

    FoldIt does just that. It allows scientists and non-scientists alike the ability to make contributions towards scientific research, simply by playing a game that was designed to harness the combined abilities of man and machine.

    Ordinary people: retired grandmothers, grade-school children, construction workers, and computer programmers, to name a few, work alone or in groups trying to find the most compact, efficient arrangement of a protein’s components. Determined by physical laws, and translated into game actions, the players push, pull, twist, realign, and otherwise manipulate 3-D models of real-life proteins, in the attempt to make their models conform to the often unknown real-life structure.

    So far, players have unlocked the structure of an enzyme related to monkey HIV, which will be used to understand the form of the virus in humans, and ultimately, to design a vaccine or a cure for the disease. FoldIt players have also developed computational algorithms that allow computers to much more efficiently calculate and predict a protein’s probable shape. Both of these achievements were worthy of publication in world-renowned scientific journals, with the players listed as co-authors of the papers.

    – FoldIt player “BootsMcGraw”

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