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Foldit- Curing HIV one puzzle at a time

ThetherooThetheroo skeleton punRegistered User regular
edited May 2008 in Games and Technology
I recently checked out this game/science experiment, and it's quite good. Foldit is a PC game that takes the formula of Folding@Home and turns it into a game under the basis that human intuition could solve problems no computer could.

From Kotaku-
The game itself is presented as a series of puzzles, slowly introducing you to the concepts of the game, offering point values for completing each level.
The team consulted with game developers in creation of Foldit, which along with human intuition introduces a competitive element to protein folding, allowing for players to create teams that will eventually compete against top researchers around the world. The game has been in testing with puzzles involving known proteins, and now they are beginning to move on to puzzles with unknown solutions. Later this year they intend to introduce proteins they wish existed, allowing players to possibly create all new biological creations within a game.

The potential for this is enormous, so waste some time curing diseases.

Foldit

The science behind it- Science!

We have a group now- Join today!

Thetheroo on
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Posts

  • LostLost Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'm totally going to try this, I love puzzles, I love curing diseases
    I can see no downside

    Lost on
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  • AmpixAmpix Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'm downloading this now, this seems really interesting.

    Time to make a difference ;)

    Ampix on
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  • HoukHouk Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'd love to see the achievements for this game. '10 points - cure cancer'. Yes!

    Houk on
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  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Installing now. Sounds cool!

    urahonky on
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  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Okay, I have no fucking idea in hell what's going on.

    urahonky on
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  • ThetherooThetheroo skeleton punRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    It does have a steep learning curve.

    Thetheroo on
  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Question: When they start introducing puzzles with unknown solutions, how will they know when it's correct? What if a lot of people arrive at the same (and incorrect) answer?

    edit: Did this site just get Digged or something? It's running like molasses for me.

    Frem on
  • ThetherooThetheroo skeleton punRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Frem wrote: »
    Question: When they start introducing puzzles with unknown solutions, how will they know when it's correct? What if a lot of people arrive at the same (and incorrect) answer?

    edit: Did this site just get Digged or something? It's running like molasses for me.

    If it cures cancer, it works!

    And yeah, it's running pretty slow for me too.

    Thetheroo on
  • mspencermspencer Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'll definitely check this out when I get a chance.

    I'm not a biologist so I'll recommend something that talks way way over my head, but: the podcast Futures in Biotech sometimes talks about some of this stuff, and their first episode was an interview that talked a whole lot about protein folding.

    So maybe listening to this particular podcast episode won't put you to sleep and will help you better understand what you're working with in this game. Futures in Biotech episode 1: Dr. Susan Lindquist

    mspencer on
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  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Maybe someone can explain to me about the competition puzzles.

    Is there a "goal" score or is it just get higher than whoever's on top of the leaderboards?

    In the tutorial puzzles you were just going for a set number of points. Now I'm all confused as to what I do.

    Taramoor on
  • Ash-HousewaresAsh-Housewares TARDIS Hunter Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    We gonna get a group going on this?

    Ash-Housewares on
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  • ThetherooThetheroo skeleton punRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    O.K, I made a group here. It's open invite, so just click "join" and we'll join up. With this we can enter competitions together as a team and other cool stuff.

    Thetheroo on
  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Ok, I'm in for a little group folding.

    Right now I'm just messing around with the competition puzzles, but I'm nearing Top 10 territory.

    I'm just not sure of the end goal here.

    Other than, you know, curing cancer.

    Taramoor on
  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    goddamn this is cool.

    but if the cure for cancer or aids is found, I better get a share of the huge money made from such a thing

    Wren on
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  • Ash-HousewaresAsh-Housewares TARDIS Hunter Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Wren wrote: »
    goddamn this is cool.

    but if the cure for cancer or aids is found, I better get a share of the huge money made from such a thing

    Wren: The Last True Humanist.

    Ash-Housewares on
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  • Niceguyeddie616Niceguyeddie616 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I know this is still in beta but why is it so hard for me to download this? I've tried like 5 times and the .exe got corrupted from not finishing all the way every time

    Niceguyeddie616 on
    The one thing I've noticed is that occasionaly, while playing, bits of food that I've previously eaten seem to be coming back up into my mouth, but a bib solved that quickly enough.
  • ThetherooThetheroo skeleton punRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    So, one hour in and were already knocking on Carnegie Mellon's doorstep on some of these challenges. Good work.

    Thetheroo on
  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    It was all good when there were guidelines. Then, they vanished and I was in a world of confusion. Ended up just letting the thingie massage the spine thingie to recover the last fourth of my points.

    edit: Dudes. I (aka, JamesGecko) currently hold the group record for puzzle 50. Try and beat my 9178. :-D

    Frem on
  • cliffskicliffski Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    This is such a fantastic idea, but it needs to be made easy enough for the likes of people playing those casual games on real and yahoo. that is a LOT of people, and if we can tap into that, there is a colossal amount of potential brain power to put into the project.
    maybe version 2 will be simpler?

    cliffski on
  • areaarea Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Intel only OSX executable :cry:

    area on
  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Taramoor wrote: »
    Maybe someone can explain to me about the competition puzzles.

    Is there a "goal" score or is it just get higher than whoever's on top of the leaderboards?

    In the tutorial puzzles you were just going for a set number of points. Now I'm all confused as to what I do.

    The idea is that people may 'predict' a model with their solution that has a good chance of fitting what the actual properly folded molecule may look like. Basically, instead of having the computer do thousands of calculations to fold the protein, it gets people to do the same thing simultaneously without the brute force approach of current folding simulation programs.

    So basically, human comes up with solution A and the computer gives that particular folded confirmation a look through assigning a score to it (however they determined this, most likely by analysis of known folded proteins).

    Another person comes up with solution B and the computer does the same thing again.

    Etc.

    What they probably do, is take the highest scoring predicted folding confirmations individuals came up with and then specifically try to test for them by using techniques like x-ray crystallography and similar.

    Edit2: Most likely, they are trying to figure out how people do X. Then calculate what ways people use to come up with those solutions and then teach the computer how to better 'think' using the sorts of solutions people come up with.

    Aegeri on
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  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    What?

    Gamers cure the world?

    What?

    Next step; Animal Crossing: Peace in our Lifetime?

    What?

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • aspaaspa Registered User
    edited May 2008
    Next step is making an MMO out of this and use it as a basis for Spore 2.

    aspa on
  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Aegeri wrote: »
    Edit2: Most likely, they are trying to figure out how people do X. Then calculate what ways people use to come up with those solutions and then teach the computer how to better 'think' using the sorts of solutions people come up with.

    A-yup.
    We’re collecting data to find out if humans' pattern-recognition and puzzle-solving abilities make them more efficient than existing computer programs at pattern-folding tasks. If this turns out to be true, we can then teach human strategies to computers and fold proteins faster than ever!

    Personally, I think that there are some things humans will always be better than computers at. I'm not sure if this is one of them, but given that the current computer strategy is brute force, it seems likely that (for some forms of pattern recognition, at least) humans have the edge.

    Frem on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Man, do I have to cure cancer while I do it?

    Khavall on
  • HamjuHamju Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Is there a way to shit-talk in this? You can't have a competitive online game without shit-talking.

    Hamju on
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  • ThetherooThetheroo skeleton punRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Hamju wrote: »
    Is there a way to shit-talk in this? You can't have a competitive online game without shit-talking.

    There's a chat function that everyone who is currently playing can see. I can't imagine what kind of shit-talk would go down, however.

    "Hell yeah, I just hydrogen bonded that protein backbone so that it is now compact enough to hide the hydrophobic molecules."

    Thetheroo on
  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    You require more hydrogen bonds.

    In ur base, folding ur proteins.

    Frem on
  • apotheosapotheos Registered User, ClubPA
    edited May 2008
    I like the idea but wow is this site slow.

    apotheos on


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  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Hey, did you guys notice that this thread got linked to in the latest FoldIt news post? Hi5! :-)

    Frem on
  • ThetherooThetheroo skeleton punRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Really? Nice!

    Edit- I'm kinda wondering why they linked here and not Kotaku. I guess a lot of traffic is coming from that link.

    Edit 2- Oh, wait. They did.

    Thetheroo on
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Bump for joinage

    PantsB on
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  • TeeManTeeMan BrainSpoon Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    This sounds like fun :) I'm a scientist who loves puzzles so this shit is tailor made. Shall download when i get home next week for sure.

    TeeMan on
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  • KrisKris Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    My download is commencing. I am minutes away from reshaping the world as we know it. I feel like a scientist, and without that nasty four year degree thing. 8-)

    Edit: Apparently the mac client is super buggy, as it just crashed on my five time in a row, each time while either just starting up, or while trying to log me in. No curing cancer tonight. :(

    Kris on
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  • disgruntleddisgruntled Registered User
    edited May 2008
    Ok, I logged in just to do this. I just pwned the UW on the bactirial enery puzzle. w00t! Go PA!:lol:

    disgruntled on
  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Well, that was fun, and managed to delay the essay I should be writing by almost an hour. (Unfortunately not an essay on protein folding.) And it's surprisingly addictive while you're playing, but to be honest I can't see myself coming back to it.

    Crimson King on
  • cjeriscjeris Registered User
    edited May 2008
    I am going to fail distributed systems because of this game.

    Damn you people.

    cjeris on
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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I procrastinate pretty badly when I'm not saving humanity - this does not bode well. Luckily, my current essay is almost finished, as I don't want to have to explain to my supervisor that I couldn't write about Insular script systems because I was curing disease.

    Rhesus Positive on
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  • FugaFuga Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    So easy.
    shake sidechains.

    Fuga on
  • ThetherooThetheroo skeleton punRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Fuga wrote: »
    So easy.
    shake sidechains.

    You obviously haven't done the advanced puzzles yet.

    Thetheroo on
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