Do you want to help find a vaccine for the coronavirus, but don’t want to go through the trouble of having to get your Phd in medical research or molecular biology? The solution is simple, just master this game and you might just become the hero that the medical world has been looking for.
The game in question is called Foldit, and can be downloaded here. It was originally created in 2008 by developers from the University of Washington. Their aim was to use the game to crowd-source potential cures for a variety of diseases like HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer’s. Now a coronavirus ‘puzzle’ has been added to the game with the hope of getting the ball rolling on a vaccine for the virus.
The goal of Foldit is to fold different protein structures and create new ones, furthering your understanding of different protein chains. Players will be tasked with modifying or creating proteins that can bind to one of the coronavirus ‘spike proteins’, thus preventing it from further infecting human cells. Players are awarded points based on efficiency and effectiveness.
As Foldit puts it in their FAQ section, “ the goal is to take folding strategies that human players have come up with while playing the game and automate these strategies to make protein-prediction software more effective.”
If you’re not a gamer, but still feel the need to help, Foldit has another solution for you. Folding@home is calling all those with ‘unused computer resources’ to donate them to research efforts. Your PC power will be used to generate more data that could lead to a potential vaccine.
Take a look at the game in action below.