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Foldit

Funded by: Microsoft, Gates Foundation, Adobe

Foldit is a downloadable computer game that allows users to contribute to scientific research by folding protein models on their computer. By twisting and manipulating the  computer animated models of proteins which exist in nature, users can help scientists do the work of understanding their shapes and how they work in biological processes. Users are scored on how compact they can make these proteins while following rules actual compounds have to follow. Folded shapes that could actually exist in the real world score the best, and have actually led to real-life scientific progress. In 2012, users were able to redesign an enzyme to be 18 times more efficient than the shape of it that researchers had been able to computationally generate. Find out more and play the game for yourself on the project’s website.