MAR 02, 2016 08:07 AM PST

Gamers or Biologists?

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Articles that get published in peer reviewed journals on topics like cellular biology and RNA molecules are usually authored by scientists who work in labs, have advanced degrees in life sciences and years of experience. That's not the case with a recent paper published on RNA folding. A popular video game called EteRNA involves solving puzzles by folding virtual molecules into shapes. Molecular biologists who work in real life labs need to understand how RNA molecules can be folded if they are to be able to create new molecules.

The game gets input from many players in solving the different patterns and the most recent article was an example of that. The paper was about how the structure of a molecule is related to its sequence. The game was created by Stanford University in an effort to crowdsource information. Each week Stanford selects a few configurations from the game to test in the lab.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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