Online gamers have achieved a feat beyond the realm of Second Life or Dungeons and Dragons: they have deciphered the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus that had thwarted scientists for a decade. [the gamers deciphered it in 3 weeks]
The exploit is published on Sunday in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, where -- exceptionally in scientific publishing -- both gamers and researchers are honoured as co-authors.
Their target was a monomeric protease enzyme, a cutting agent in the complex molecular tailoring of retroviruses, a family that includes HIV.
Figuring out the structure of proteins is vital for understanding the causes of many diseases and developing drugs to block them. -- continue reading