Monday, October 10, 2011

Gaming & Research (decoding aids protein)

For more than 20 years, I have stubbornly preached about the importance of teamwork, functional relationships.  It has been intuitively clear to me for years that non-experts are an essential contributors in a properly structured team environment.  In my engineering work I have also demonstrated the parallels between the structure of functioning human social systems and good technical architecture (as well as taught teams to see, and apply this).

Here is an example from a different field which, while it doesn't surprise me, does thrill me.

It's about the foldit game developed at the University of Washington, and how non-experts decoded an aids protein.

A lay overview appears here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/19/aids-protein-decoded-gamers_n_970113.html

A paper outlining how experts structured involving others in a way which worked (and which may have some simple lessons for broader application):
http://www.nature.com/nsmb/journal/v18/n10/full/nsmb.2119.html

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