Can a video game be used to do research on HIV? Sure it can and it actually happened 3 years ago already: from 2011, players of Fold It are helping scientists of an experimental research program of The University of Washington's Center for Game Science in collaboration with the UW Department of Biochemistry.
The idea for the project was born because researchers needed help to understand how to literally unfold the structure of a protein that plays an important role in HIV. Researchers had no problem in admitting their limits of understanding and prefer to simply find people more able than them for the task. The limited set of rules of 'Fold It' are similar to the way the protein works at its molecular level, so why not to get creative with that information? The importance of this project isn't given only by the original idea of using video games, but also because it finds a way to actively engage citizens in the work for a noble cause. This is what we call acting up- have fun, you gamers!
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