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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Online game helps predict how RNA folds

The folding of RNA molecules is difficult to predict, because each molecule is a long string of units, or bases, that can pair up with each other in many different ways. Because of this, even the best computer algorithms do badly at predicting the shape a molecule will actually take.

A team led by computer scientist Adrien Treuille at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, turned the problem over to online gamers to crack.

- Bob Holmes, "Online game helps predict how RNA folds" Neww Scientist (13 January 2011 )
What does it mean if the gamers beat the computer, the scientists, or nobody at all?

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