Foldit Foldit is an online puzzle video game about protein folding. The game is part of an experimental research project, and is developed by the University of Washington's Center for Game Science in collaboration with the UW Department of Biochemistry. The objective of the game is to fold the structure of selected proteins as well as possible, using various tools provided within the game. The highest scoring solutions are analysed by researchers, who determine whether or not there is a native structural configuration (or native state) that can be applied to the relevant proteins, in the "real world". Scientists can then use such solutions to solve "real-world" problems, by targeting and eradicating diseases, and creating biological innovations.
Scientists at UC Berkeley are studying the bacterial microcompartment protein PduN, and we think Foldit players can help answer some questions about how PduN folds into symmetric assemblies: "Bacterial microcompartments are protein-based organelles. Despite some glycosylation, they are almost entirely made of protein, even the outer shell. They are large complexes, shaped like icosahedrons, containing thousands of protein subunits. They have an outer layer with pores that tightly control what molecules enter and leave.
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