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Scientific American

Scientific American

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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.

For Citizen Scientists Citizen Scientists have helped to answer serious scientific questions, provide vital data to the astronomical community, and have discovered thousands of objects including nebulas, supernovas, and gamma ray bursts. NASA supports several resources which may be of interest to amateur and professional scientists alike. PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS Ancient Earth, Alien Earth Ancient Earth Alien Earth If you could visit the early Earth, you would find it a vastly different, inhospitable, and alien place. Yet, it was in this environment that life on this planet began and evolved. What do we know about the ancient Earth and how can that guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars?

National Instiute of Mental Health Meredith, a 15-year-old high school student from San Diego, wrote this year’s breakthrough paper on modeling global epidemics. An 11-year-old boy from upstate New York solved a problem in protein folding using a computer game called Foldit. And an octogenarian working with his retired physician partner created the Cinderella Therapeutics Foundation in Holland to launch rapid trials of drugs rescued from industry. These are a few of the stories from the Sage Bionetworks Commons Congress in San Francisco this weekend, supported by Google and the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship.

Investigating Evidence : Cornell Lab of Ornithology: BirdSleuth K-12 Students measure seed for their bird feeder experiment. Our Investigating Evidence curriculum turns students into scientists! Through this unit, students learn by doing… from question to conclusion. Help Scientists Record One Day of Sound on Earth The Soundscape Recorder app in action. Image: Brandon Keim Bryan Pijanowski wants to capture the sounds of the world on a single day, and he needs your help. On Earth Day, April 22, Pijanowski hopes to enlist thousands of people in recording a few minutes of their everyday surroundings with his Soundscape Recorder smartphone app. All those sonic snippets could create an unprecedented soundtrack to life on Earth — and as they accumulate, year after year, scientists could use them to measure patterns and changes in our sonic environments. “I’ve been on a campaign to record as many ecosystems as possible,” said Pijanowski, a soundscape ecologist at Purdue University.

Citizen Science Citizen Science projects let volunteers easily contribute to active science programs. They're useful when there is so much data it overwhelms computing algorithms (if they exist) or the scientific research team attempting to process it. In many cases it is easier to train volunteers to recognize patterns than it is to create a computer algorithm that attempts to do the same thing. There are many opportunities for citizen scientists to assist in the analysis of the huge amounts of data collected from spacecraft missions or other records that are then distributed out to volunteer researchers of various levels and interests. Many are 100% online so can be done from the relative safety (and warmth) of your home computer.

BBC From China to the Congo, a new wave of volunteer science projects aims to allow amateur participants to actively gather data for the benefit of their communities. Earthquake researchers have a problem. So do scientists trying to investigate the spread of deadly malaria. ZooTeach Engage: Watch Shift Happens: 67 slides (8 min) * The lesson will begin by watching the “shift happens” slide show which will introduce information the students may not be aware of and should raise questions about what this globalization of information means to their lives. Discussion: “Our changing world” * The class will write down ideas and Questions that re brought up during the discussion. These lists will remain posted in the room through the duration of the lesson.

in Depth GAP2’s purpose is to demonstrate the role and value of stakeholder driven science within the context of fisheries’ governance. Who we are Funded by the European Commission’s FP7 Capacities’ programme, GAP2′s work is coordinated by an interdisciplinary team across Europe, with expertise ranging from social science to fisheries management. More about our team here. What we do citizen science - National Geographic Society Citizen science is the practice of public participation and collaboration in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge. Through citizen science, people share and contribute to data monitoring and collection programs. Usually this participation is done as an unpaid volunteer.

In-Depth: Providers’ inevitable acceptance of patient generated health data By Brian Dolan Four years ago a keynote speaker at the American Medical Informatics Association meeting in Washington D.C. made a provocative prediction about the near-future importance of patient generated health data: “I think it’s not that bold to say that in five years the kind of things I was showing you are going to put us in a position where the vast majority of information that a doctor might use to determine how a patient is doing will be things that are collected outside of that doctor’s office,” Gregory Abowd, Distinguished Professor, School of Interactive Computing Georgia Tech, told AMIA 2011 attendees.