Scientists turn to video games to learn more about viruses

PORTLAND, Ore. - So, your mom said nothing good would come out of all those hours playing video games.

Well, try telling that to researchers. For more than a decade, biochemists had been stumped by the structure of a key protein needed by viruses to multiply.

The biochemists turned to gamers. University of Washington researchers developed a video game called Foldit to harness the brain power of puzzle-loving humans. Super computers couldn't even do the job.

Biochemistry professor David Baker says it took just ten days for the winning team to crack the code. He tells The Oregonian newspaper the gamers' solution was nearly perfect.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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