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Scientists Use Game To Research Corona Virus


As we all are by now aware the Coronavirus or COVID-19 is really becoming a threat worldwide and there are many people around the globe endeavoring to combat this virus as there is no known vaccine as of yet.

The team at the University of Washington in Seattle have come up with a novel idea. They are using a game. Released in 2008 the game is called FOLDIT. The aim of the game is to fold proteins in order to understand their structure. The researchers say this is “key to understanding how [a protein] works and to targeting it with drugs.” They have added a new puzzle to the game based on COVID-19.

The puzzles description reads “Coronaviruses display a ‘spike’ protein on their surface, which binds tightly to a receptor protein found on the surface of human cells.”

“In recent weeks, researchers have determined the structure of the 2019 coronavirus spike protein and how it binds to human receptors. If we can design a protein that binds to this coronavirus spike protein, it could be used to block the interaction with human cells and halt infection!” (via Eurogamer).

Foldit is effectively crowd sourcing work that would usually solely be done by researchers and is proving successful as thousands of people are playing and are able to fold long chains of amino acids into compact three-dimensional shapes.

This might or might not help in the fight against this pandemic but it is something those with good lateral thinking skills can do to help.

To date this virus has killed 3 110 people and infected more than 92 000.

We hope to see drastic breakthroughs in the near future regarding this research and if gaming has something to do with it than all the better.