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1/ Hey video game player / puzzle solvers -- this is real!

"If you like solving puzzles, scientists want your help to start designing potential drugs to combat the coronavirus using a game you can play on your computer."

#covid19 / #coronavirus…
2/ "The citizen-science project, known as Foldit, hopes to start turning designs into actual drugs within a month.

Asking untrained people to design drugs sounds like pie in the sky. But the science behind the project is very real..."
3/ "Foldit is among the world’s most-successful citizen-science projects.

It challenges users to solve 3D puzzles by finding ways to fit complex shapes together, or build their own new shapes – a cross between 3D Tetris and Minecraft."
4/ "SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has a long spike that is perfectly shaped to stick on to one particular receptor, like a key sliding into a lock.

But if you could make a drug that sticks onto that spike, in effect gumming it up, you could stop the virus..."
5/ "It’s much harder than it sounds. Your drug needs to bend around and stick to the extremely complex structure of the spike.

Natural selection has finely honed the spike so it sticks perfectly onto our cells – so your drug needs to stick even more perfectly to the spike."
6/ Just think -- the person who might turn out to have made the most material contribution to helping end this pandemic could be a #CitizenScientist who figured out this puzzle on their computer at home.

This could be you.

Foldit link:

(ht @OZmandia)
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