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And They Say Gaming is a Waste of Time

Posted Sep 20, 2011 by Suzie Ford

And They Say Gaming is a Waste of Time

A new report has surfaced showing the power of gaming. Gamers have assisted AIDS research in a big way by untangling the structure of a retrovirus protein that scientists have been puzzling over for a good long while. It took the gamers a scant three weeks to accomplish what science has been stumped by for over a decade.

The discovery was made using a program called "FoldIt" which takes scientific difficulties and turns them into "games".  Players use deductive reasoning and 3D problem-solving skills to build models of the structure of the protein.

"We wanted to see if human intuition could succeed where automated methods had failed," said Firas Khatib, a lead author of the study, published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

"The ingenuity of game players is a formidable force that, if properly directed, can be used to solve a wide range of scientific problems," Khatib said.

Read the full report on the amazing-ness of gamers here.

Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom