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“Scientists tap gaming’s power: You, too, can help figure out proteins”

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The Seattle PI describes the “Foldit” videogame, a collaboration involving UW CSE’s Zoran Popovic, David Salesin, and Adrien Treuille, and UW Biochemistry’s David Baker. “Benjamin Baker is a 13-year-old middle school student who, like most boys his age, probably thinks his father is kind of a geek, if not a dork.

“His father, David Baker, is, after all, a scientist. He is the type of wild-haired, frequently disheveled deep thinker who could play the role of a scientist in one of those schlocky, adolescent-targeted movies in which smart people are included only when the main characters need special help to solve problems involving girls, money or the police.

“Given all this, and that Ben is now working hard on the home computer trying to help solve his father’s real-life problem – that of protein structural analysis – is strong evidence that Baker and his colleagues at the University of Washington may have discovered something revolutionary, something huge:

“How to make complicated science into a fun video game!”

June 1, 2008