Monday, September 19, 2011

Gamers Crack AIDS Enzyme Puzzle

A group of online gamers has broken an AIDS enzyme puzzle that has eluded scientists for years. This is a significant breakthrough that has a lot of long term implications:
To the astonishment of the scientists, the gamers produced an accurate model of the enzyme in just three weeks.
Cracking the enzyme "provides new insights for the design of antiretroviral drugs," says the study, referring to the lifeline medication against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Like many people my age, HIV/AIDS has touched my life. I lost a cousin to AIDS and currently have people that are close to me that are HIV positive. Add this to being a gamer and I'm very excited to read this article! It is not only a significant breakthrough in the treatment of HIV, but for the first time that I can recall the creative problem solving skills of gamers was put to great use to help many people who are currently living with HIV or who, like me, are close to those who are. 

Having grown up in the golden age of video games, and seeing how often they are demonized and blamed for all kinds of societal ills, it is refreshing to see this kind of reporting about the good things gaming can do. I'll be following this story closely and will share any updates I find. 


  1. I absolutely loved seeing this in the news and hope that we see more instances of science (and other disciplines) utilizing this type of crowd-sourcing in the future. Gamer idiot savants FTW!