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New Category: Experimental!

Hey everyone,

We've just created a new puzzle category - the Experimental category.

We're trying out this category as a way to introduce new puzzle types that aren't necessarily fit for prime time quite yet. If a puzzle is out of devprev testing, but we're still in a state of heavy refinement, we've added the Experimental category to keep it segregated from the normal puzzles.

This is useful because, if there are issues with the puzzle, they wont affect your Overall or other category scores. It also gives credit to players who are adapting to the new rulesets the fastest!

(Fri, 09/08/2017 - 20:34  |  3 comments)

New Paper out of the Baker Lab

Recently, a group from the Baker lab published a paper in Science describing a high-throughput way to test lots of protein designs at once. That paper is now available, but only though a specific link on the Baker lab website. To view the paper, head to the Baker lab site and click on second item listed (Global analysis of protein folding using massively parallel design, synthesis, and testing).

Traditionally, if you wanted to measure a protein’s structural stability, you'd first have to purify the protein (which is expensive and time-intensive) and then run some kind of protein unfolding experiment with your purified protein sample.

The authors of this paper developed a protease assay that can approximate the stability of thousands of proteins in parallel, without having to purify and test each individual protein.

The idea is that unfolded or unstable proteins will be readily chewed up by proteases; but stable, well-folded proteins will resist protease degradation and remain intact. We can then sort out which proteins survived the proteases.

From this large dataset of protein stability, the authors were also able to make some interesting conclusions about protein design. For example, they found that ASP and GLU are especially stable in the first turn of a helix; ARG and LYS are preferred in the last turn.

This experiment was made possible by cheap, high-throughput DNA synthesis. Currently, this type of DNA synthesis is limited to short stretches of DNA that can only encode proteins of <60 residues (still too small for most Foldit-designed proteins). However, this technology is getting better all the time, so we may soon be able to apply this method to test thousands of Foldit-designed proteins!

(Fri, 09/01/2017 - 21:53  |  2 comments)

Puzzle 1420 Deadline Extended

Due to recent instabilities in the scoring system, the expiration date of Puzzle 1420 has been pushed back 24 hours, to August 30 at 23:00 UTC. We expect the current scoreboard issues to be resolved later today.

(Tue, 08/29/2017 - 20:18  |  3 comments)

New York City

We are looking for Foldit players who are in the New York City area for a possible upcoming event! If you are in the area and would like to find out more, please send a PM to Seth Cooper.

(Mon, 08/28/2017 - 13:27  |  0 comments)

Welcome to our new Mods!

Hey, everyone! After discussion with the current mods and the Foldit admin team, we’d officially like to welcome actiasluna, LociOiling, and tokens to the moderator team. Our sincerest thanks to the three of you, and as always, to all Foldit players for everything you do!

(Wed, 08/23/2017 - 22:27  |  1 comment)
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Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Microsoft, Adobe, RosettaCommons