Data

General Issues
Science & Technology
Health
Specific Topics
Biomedical Research & Development
Public Safety
Research & Development
Collections
Participedia Team
Scope of Influence
No Geographical Limits
Links
Foldit - First look at coronavirus solutions
Foldit official Twitter
Foldit - About (The Science behind Foldit)
University of Washington - Foldit Game Engages the Public in Research
Scientists Use Online Game to Research COVID-19 Treatment
Foldit - 1811: Coronavirus Binder Design: Round 3
The Next web - This puzzle game lets you help create a coronavirus vaccine
How a puzzle game could help scientists find a coronavirus cure
Videos
Looking at TOP Foldit coronavirus solutions (Plus: lab testing)
Start Date
Ongoing
Yes
Time Limited or Repeated?
A single, defined period of time
Purpose/Goal
Research
Approach
Research
Co-production in form of partnership and/or contract with private organisations
Spectrum of Public Participation
Not applicable or not relevant
Total Number of Participants
2500
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Open to All
General Types of Methods
Collaborative approaches
Experiential and immersive education
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Inform, educate and/or raise awareness
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Crowdsourcing
Legality
Yes
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Online
Information & Learning Resources
Video Presentations
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
New Media
Type of Organizer/Manager
Academic Institution
Volunteers
Yes

CASE

Foldit: Crowdsourced Puzzle Game for COVID-19 Protein Research

General Issues
Science & Technology
Health
Specific Topics
Biomedical Research & Development
Public Safety
Research & Development
Collections
Participedia Team
Scope of Influence
No Geographical Limits
Links
Foldit - First look at coronavirus solutions
Foldit official Twitter
Foldit - About (The Science behind Foldit)
University of Washington - Foldit Game Engages the Public in Research
Scientists Use Online Game to Research COVID-19 Treatment
Foldit - 1811: Coronavirus Binder Design: Round 3
The Next web - This puzzle game lets you help create a coronavirus vaccine
How a puzzle game could help scientists find a coronavirus cure
Videos
Looking at TOP Foldit coronavirus solutions (Plus: lab testing)
Start Date
Ongoing
Yes
Time Limited or Repeated?
A single, defined period of time
Purpose/Goal
Research
Approach
Research
Co-production in form of partnership and/or contract with private organisations
Spectrum of Public Participation
Not applicable or not relevant
Total Number of Participants
2500
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Open to All
General Types of Methods
Collaborative approaches
Experiential and immersive education
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Inform, educate and/or raise awareness
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Crowdsourcing
Legality
Yes
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Online
Information & Learning Resources
Video Presentations
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
New Media
Type of Organizer/Manager
Academic Institution
Volunteers
Yes
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Foldit uses citizen scientists to crowdsource contributions to protein research is necessary to understand to cure diseases. Recently with this project, participants have helped proteins that could block the COVID-19 virus from infiltrating human cells.

Problems and Purpose

Foldit is a puzzle game from 2008 which uses crowdsourced participation for protein research. Given the 2020 spread of the COVID-19, a coronavirus, a new puzzle called "Coronavirus Spike Protein Binder Design" allows users to create antiviral proteins that could be used to counteract the spike protein of COVID-19.

According to Foldit's official Twitter account, the "most promising ideas generated by the game will be tested and possibly manufactured by UW's Institute for Protein Design" which is based in Seattle, US.[1]

Background History and Context

Foldit debuted in 2008 out of an experimental research project developed by the University of Washington's Center for Game Science and Department of Biochemistry.[2] The coronavirus puzzle is Foldit's 1,808th game.[2]

In 2011, participants of the game "helped discover the molecular structure of retroviral proteases enzyme M-PMV, which has a major role in the development of a virus similar to HIV", a problem that had been puzzling scientists for a decade.[3] Then in 2016, the game participants found the structure of a "protein that could help plaque formation" an important aspect of research on Alzheimer's.[3]

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

Participant Recruitment and Selection

The puzzle game is open for downloading and playing by all who are interested. Since its inception, Foldit has crowdsourced contributions to protein research from over 200,000 registered players.[4] Over 2,500 players have contributed to the coronavirus puzzles, as of March 12, 2020.[2]

Methods and Tools Used

Crowdsourcing

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

Analysis and Lessons Learned

See Also

[email protected]: Crowdsourced supercomputing project for COVID-19

References

[1] Foldit. (2020, Feb 28). Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/Foldit/status/123351076633623347

[2] Brown, Evan Nicole. (2020, March 12). "How scientists are crowdsourcing a coronavirus treatment." Fast Company. Available at https://www.fastcompany.com/90470524/how-scientists-are-crowdsourcing-a-coronavirus-vaccine

[3] McGrath, J. (2020, March 4). "How a puzzle game could help scientists find a coronavirus cure." Digital Trends. Available at https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/coronavirus-cure-foldit-protein-folding-game/

[4] Levy, Nat. (2020, March 2). "University of Washington coronavirus puzzle game aims to crowdsource a cure." Available at https://www.geekwire.com/2020/university-washington-coronavirus-puzzle-game-aims-crowdsource-cure/

External Links

Notes