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Wanna contribute to science, in the form of understanding molecules involved in diseases such as Alzheimer's, Aids, or cancer?
Wanna do so while playing a videogame?

Foldit (guild) is not just a game, but a contribution to science as well. The concept behind Foldit is based on proteins that are found in plants/animals/humans/viruses/bacteria/funghi. These proteins will fold themselves into certain ideal shapes that allow them to interact with the human body. However, because many proteins are so complex, it is hard to determine the ideal shape. This is where Foldit comes in. The game poses the player with several proteins, and it is up to the players to see if they can find the most efficient way to fold it up based on real biological rules. And we have a team there that we can all join.


So? How does this work?

The game allows players to fold proteins alone, work with others' solutions (known as evolvers), or form groups to work together. There are also high score tables for groups, solo players, and evolvers.
For both beginner programmers and hardcore programmers, the program also allows the option to program better "cooking recipes", which can improve the precision and accuracy of the folded proteins.

Website of the program and where you can get an account:
http://fold.it/portal/
And our group page:
http://fold.it/portal/node/991828

A good video of why this is a cool (and worthwhile) activity:
http://www.nature.com/news/victory-for-crowdsourced-biomolec...

Go to the FoldIt guild page, sign up, and start playing and generating scientific results.


Here a preview of how the FoldIt videogame looks like (yes, it's not Halo 4, but it's a pretty decent and robust interface...):
Example 1: Folded HIV protease, with side chain to-be-bent


Example 2: Congratulations! You have completed one of the introduction puzzles...



Notes

Note: There is a second club here at BGG/VGG/RPGGG, namely Folding@home (Guild 742 - also a great endeavour, check it out), whereby users can use their CPU/GPUs to calculate likely protein fold structures.
In FoldIt, users (i.e., you) actually take over the part of the processing unit, and play a video game. The highest score indicates the most likely protein structure and may get published.


See the group wiki for further details, and add your username there: http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/edit/FoldIt


Microbadges (ready to go)
We now have this '''free award microbadge''' for all that have at least one point contributed in a real science puzzle:
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And you can purchase a microbadge:
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Add you names to the Wiki for getting the microbadges (and forgive possible delays).

Enjoy fold-gaming. cool
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I'm already a member of a group with a bunch of other grad students. I got to meet David Baker and hear a talk he gave. I think even he is amazed at the amount of creativity and innovation non-biochemists are bringing to the 'game'
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Jeff G
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I think that if it involves a free microbadge handed out, people will do it. Just my $.02.
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bulldog93 wrote:
I think that if it involves a free microbadge handed out, people will do it. Just my $.02.


Agreed! Even us people who can't fold on their weak laptops would still probably try it against the odds.
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Peaceful Gamin'
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Oliphant wrote:
bulldog93 wrote:
I think that if it involves a free microbadge handed out, people will do it. Just my $.02.


Agreed! Even us people who can't fold on their weak laptops would still probably try it against the odds.


I only have laptops - works like a charme.... cool
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Peaceful Gamin'
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charlieturtle wrote:
I'm already a member of a group with a bunch of other grad students. I got to meet David Baker and hear a talk he gave. I think even he is amazed at the amount of creativity and innovation non-biochemists are bringing to the 'game'


Nice!
Actually, if I see this right, you can be a member of as many teams as you like (will have to check)
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And, with that, I would like to officially (and warmly) welcome our first new team members, damiangerous, TheChin, sirjeyhmis, bulldog93, Firerider, and trenttsd.
meeple
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Peaceful Gamin'
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We now have this '''free award microbadge''' for all that have at least one point contributed in a real science puzzle:
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And you can always purchase a microbadge:
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Jeff G
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Now watch them flock to participate. Hopefully.
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Peaceful Gamin'
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bulldog93 wrote:
Now watch them flock to participate. Hopefully.


Grin.
On that note: Congratulations to "sirjeyhmis" for achieving the first official point in the scientific competitions!

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James Adrian
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My pleasure!
I'm still getting used to the interface and don't fully understand the point system, but it is quite interesting. The tutorials are pretty good at explaining things, too.

Join up, folders!
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Jeff G
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Darn! This is way more confusing than I thought it would be.
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sirjeyhmis wrote:
My pleasure!
I'm still getting used to the interface and don't fully understand the point system, but it is quite interesting. The tutorials are pretty good at explaining things, too.

Join up, folders!


The shiny mb is on its merry way. Wear it proudly... meeple
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James Adrian
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Ooh! The shiny!

Why thank you!

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By the way, I have admittedly not been too successful in my foldings (300th placed), but in the current Anthrax Hal Factor Protein, I actually invested some energy to get into the Top10. There are about 5 days left. I uploaded the result into our team page. If you start the puzzle, you can decide to fiddle with it by yourselves, or try to pick up what I have achieved so far and "evolve" it (your count will then be as evolver, giving you some extrain-game badges) - I'll make a geeklist to clarify this once I have some time (so, maybe in 5 years...).
In any case, this is the main strength of a tam, that everyone can pick up everybody else's work and improve it.

Good luck & have phun


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I joined today, and I'm working my way through the introductory puzzles.
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K_I_T wrote:
I joined today, and I'm working my way through the introductory puzzles.


Nice!! cool
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This post made me feel like I'd gotten lost in THE BIG BANG.

You know, the tv series..
Now I know how Penny must feel.

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Aaand, congratulations,
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and
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The shiny mb is on its merry way. Wear it proudly... meeple
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So. I have started on this tough nut: http://fold.it/portal/node/992128.
Feel free to evolve, while already at >>13,000 points, I haven't even reached the Top100 yet. Aaaaand the Evolver scores are even more competitive.
Looking forward to your contributions.
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Here some background on the CO2 project from the US Government
https://depts.washington.edu/mllab/files/CO2ProjectWebsite.p...
Making fuels from CO2.
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This foldit thingy reminds me of a show Iwatched as a little toddler,
Procidis' Once upon a time. I saw all the episodes are now online - they aresoo nice. It's a shame that the American version lacks the deep sarcasm of the French and German versions, but it's still amrvellous, especially when they need to close a wound and start folding their chromosomes. Hilarious:

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Drumrolls...

Congratulations to


aka

[user=TheChin!][/user]

The shiny mb is on its merry way. Wear it proudly... meeple
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