“One speaker at this year’s festival is Zoran Popovic, the director of the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, in Seattle. He led the team of researchers responsible for the puzzle game Foldit, which sought to crowdsource a solution to a scientific problem. Foldit asked players to take on the role of a biochemist and map out how proteins might be folded in nature. The game provided scores based on how well they performed. Three papers in the journal Nature have been published, based on Foldit discoveries, since the game’s release in 2008; the most famous, in 2011, explained how Foldit players had helped to decipher the structure of an AIDS-related enzyme, a problem that scientists had been trying to solve for years.
“Mr. Popovic plans to unveil a new project this week, a synthetic-biology game called NanoCrafter, whose goal is to discover molecular structures that could benefit vaccine and cancer research.”
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