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Which clippings match 'Citizen Science' keyword pg.1 of 1
04 FEBRUARY 2014

This Thing Called Science: videos to explain scientific concepts

"TechNyou is a free information service to help raise awareness about emerging technologies and associated issues, for example GM foods, stem cells, gene therapy, cloning, synthetic biology and nanotechnologies."

The series includes: This Thing Called Science Part 1: Call me skeptical; This Thing Called Science Part 2: Testing, testing 1–2–3; This Thing Called Science Part 3: Blinded by Science; This Thing Called Science Part 4: Confidently Uncertain; This Thing Called Science Part 5: Do the right thing; This Thing Called Science Part 6: Citizen Science.



Liam Birtles

Citizen science: predicting protein structures with a multiplayer online game

"People exert large amounts of problem–solving effort playing computer games. Simple image– and text–recognition tasks have been successfully 'crowd–sourced' through games, but it is not clear if more complex scientific problems can be solved with human–directed computing. Protein structure prediction is one such problem: locating the biologically relevant native conformation of a protein is a formidable computational challenge given the very large size of the search space. Here we describe Foldit, a multiplayer online game that engages non–scientists in solving hard prediction problems. Foldit players interact with protein structures using direct manipulation tools and user–friendly versions of algorithms from the Rosetta structure prediction methodology, while they compete and collaborate to optimize the computed energy. We show that top–ranked Foldit players excel at solving challenging structure refinement problems in which substantial backbone rearrangements are necessary to achieve the burial of hydrophobic residues. Players working collaboratively develop a rich assortment of new strategies and algorithms; unlike computational approaches, they explore not only the conformational space but also the space of possible search strategies. The integration of human visual problem–solving and strategy development capabilities with traditional computational algorithms through interactive multiplayer games is a powerful new approach to solving computationally–limited scientific problems."

(Seth Cooper, Firas Khatib, Adrien Treuille, Janos Barbero, Jeehyung Lee, Michael Beenen, Andrew Leaver–Fay, David Baker, Zoran Popović & Foldit players)

Nature 466, 756–760 (05 August 2010) doi:10.1038/nature09304 Received 22 January 2010 Accepted 30 June 2010



algorithm • biochemistry • biomedicalcitizen sciencecollaboration • computational approaches • computational challenge • computer games • computing science • crowdsourcingdiscovery through designDNA • DNA sequence • Foldit • gamesimage recognitioninsight through designinteractive gamesmulti-player • multi-player online game • Nature (journal) • non-scientists • online gameplaying • predication • problem-solving • protein structure prediction • protein structures • scientific problems • scientists • structural biology • text recognitiontheory buildingvisual problem-solvingvisual representation


Simon Perkins

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