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This is the place where we will describe some of the outcomes and results of your folding work, provide a glimpse of future challenges and developments, and in general give you a better sense of where we are and where foldit hopes to go in the future.

CASP8 Results

We've got some very exciting news!  The table below shows our placement in CASP8 puzzles.  Click on the  Target column to go to the respective CASP8 page showing results. The rank column shows Foldit solution rank according to the default CASP8 sorting criteria (GDT_TS).   Entries column shows the number of submissions from biochemistry labs worldwide.  The  puzzle column shows the corresponding foldit puzzle.

Looking at the numbers, it appears that Foldit players did amazingly well!  You placed in top 3 in a number of puzzles and it seems that we apparently won one of the puzzles.  Congratulations, Foldit players!  You're amzing.

Looking beyond numbers, the preliminary conclusion by biochemist is that foldit players are on par, but not better than protein folding experts at trying to solve the same problem with all tools available to them.  It also appears that foldit outperformed all fully automated server submissions.  Hopefully over time foldit can do even better, but being able to produce solutions of same quality as experts means that the top science research can now also be done outside of labs by game players, significantly speeding up the process of scientific advancement!  As developers, we are truly inspired by this.

Of course, we didn't do well on all puzzles, but even this has been very useful to us as we're evolving the game further to significantly improve over these findings. 

Some caveats that should be mentioned:

  • there is a considerable amount of discussion over what is the best way to score the quality of the solution, and GDT_TS is just one of them that CASP8 sorts their solutions by.  The ranking would be slightly different with different metrics, but the overall conclusion should not change.
  • it is possible that the specific starting point including all the constraint bands played a significant role in the success of foldit solutions, and we may have gotten a particularly good one from the Baker lab.  To understand this better, we'll be introducing new puzzles (more on that tomorrow).
  • foldit did not have the sequence allignment tool that is fundamental for protein prediction.  Scientists use sequence alighment a lot to find the best score.  For next CASP challenge we will make sure that these tools are also part of the game, which should significantly enable the gameplay and the resulting proteins.
( Posted by  zoran 86 2839  |  Wed, 12/17/2008 - 21:41  |  9 comments )
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Welcome to Developers Blog

Dear folders,

This is the place where we will describe some of the outcomes and results of your folding work, provide a glimpse of the future challenges, and developments, and in general give you a better sense of where we are and where the foldit hopes to go in the future.

Today, I'd like to draw your attention to the evolution videos that we will be creating for each finished puzzle.  The videos show how best performing group has evolved the protein to it's final state.  The individual contributor of each improvement is displayed at the bottom.  The duration of each individual transformation is proportional to the amount of score change.  We fould these videos very useful, and we hope that the will be particularly useful for players looking for intuition and strategy that would lead to higher scores.  You can find them on most older puzzle pages (for example see the Turkey puzzle).  There is a also a video link on the puzzle list page http://fold.it/portal/puzzles?page=1.  Currently there is only one video per puzzle, but over time we will have videos for the top 3 groups and top 3 solo solutions.

Let us know what you think by posting comments below.

( Posted by  zoran 86 2839  |  Fri, 12/12/2008 - 04:37  |  4 comments )
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