It's been a while since I've started participate in the Folding@Home project and contributed some work units. After this time I admit it's a bit boring since it's a passive work. I don't even see the results of the folding. To feed my eye's hunger for protein folding I've started to lookup the net for some movies or trajectory files. And then I stumbled upon Fold it!. First impression? Wow, it's great! For those who don't know "Fold it!" is a video game with the goal to fold a given protein to a state with the lowest energy. Instead of using a sophisticated algorithm for solving the folding problem the authors of this game relay on the human ability to intuitively solve 3D puzzles. You can be good at playing this game without a PhD in biology or chemistry. David Baker, a biochemistry professor at the University of Washington and one of the authors, says that his 13-year-old son is faster at folding proteins than he is. And in fact it's really simple to play. Getting trough the short tutorials took me about half an hour, but after that the online competition mode is quite addictive (especially when someone ranks you out).
If you're curious the game looks like this:
and it's definitely worth trying out!