As coronavirus cases continue to increase around the globe—and TikTok videos and informational bops are being made—scientists are scrambling their way to find a cure for COVID-19. And while some may isolate themselves in a lab to do it, a project by [email protected] has found a way for anyone to chime in through a video game that could just lead to the coronavirus cure.
Created by disease research project [email protected], the game series “Foldit” encourages players to compete and collaborate in building proteins and amino acids. Their latest coronavirus puzzle has one objective to complete the game and save billions of lives in the process: Find the antibody that could fight COVID-19. Players manipulate digital molecule simulations into several arrangements, making the puzzle look like it’s straight out of an app store’s “chill out” category.
“This protein, called the coronavirus spike protein, allows the coronavirus to infect human cells,” says “Foldit” scientist Brian Koepnick. “We wanna give ‘Foldit’ players the opportunity to design proteins that bind to this spike protein and prevent infection.”
However, it’s best to remember that a simulated cure is just the beginning of developing a vaccine. “We do want to emphasize that, like all the research we do, laboratory testing takes time to make sure these molecules are safe and effective against coronavirus.”
Modeling the spike protein structure and identifying potential sites as an antibody’s target takes a considerable amount of power. Aside from working out the puzzle, [email protected] is also accepting computer power by encouraging users to download their application. Users can help the cause by having the app run on their computer’s background while they go about their daily business.
Head over to “Foldit’s” site to start solving or watch their introductory video below:
Still from Foldit’s YouTube