Posted by: crudbasher | September 19, 2011

A Crowd Sourcing Success Story

Fascinating. Scientists trying to figure out the structure of a virus, put the problem into a video game. It took players 3 weeks to solve it.

This idea is called crowd sourcing and it’s a key tool for the future. The Internet is all about bringing people together. It allows concentrations of talent like this example. By collaborating on problems, we can solve things too hard for a single person.

The question this begs of course is: Are schools encouraging collaborative learning?


    • Scientists spent a decade trying—and failing—to map the structure of an enzyme that could help solve a crucial part of the AIDS puzzle. It took online gamers all of three weeks.

    • Foldit was developed in 2008 as a means of discovering the structures of various proteins and amino acids—something computers can’t do very well—by turning it into a game. By inputting the experimental coordinates for the monkey virus enzyme, gamers—most of whom didn’t have a background in molecular biology—were able to accurately predict the structure of the protein, allowing scientists to pinpoint locations to stop the virus’ growth.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. A remember reading about this article a few months ago, and how they used crowd sourcing in a very creative way- turning a complex problem into a video game. Great success story, thanks for sharing!

    • Indeed, game dynamics are a great way to get people to solve problems. Thanks for adding that link Jack!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: