With avid players of video games discovering new ground - like the structure of an AIDS-related enzyme - students earning a computer science degree could pave the way of future science. In September, people playing a protein-folding game called Foldit discovered an enzyme that scientists have been researching for a decade.
"Proteins are these esoteric things that most people don't know very much about, but through computer graphics and interaction we were able to make them something you can play with and wiggle and pull - and make them physically real for people, a Carnegie Mellon computer scientist told CNN. "And I think that realness - that toy-like aspect of proteins - is what made it ultimately comprehensible to our players and allowed them to solve problems that elude computer programs."
Gamers teaming up with scientists can help build with genetic code. In fact, one game, EteRNA, scientists create sequences made by gamers and send them a picture of the end result.
Scientists can learn from gamers how RNA shapes behave in biology, which could lead to the creation of microorganisms and the fight against disease, Fast Company said.