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jawz101's picture
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Snake bites, insect bites, etc. Snake antivenom has a problem of needing to be available and fast for it to work. It's also very expensive. Helicopter ride from some wilderness area, hospital stay, vials of antivenom dosed until it works.

https://khn.org/news/april-medical-bill-of-month-143k-snakebite-antivenin/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/09/09/the-crazy-reason-it-costs-14000-to-treat-a-snakebite-with-14-medicine/

I've also read there are about 5.4 million snake bites and 2.7 million envenomings per year.

jawz101's picture
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$580,000 snake
spvincent's picture
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I'm guessing any venom

I'm guessing any venom proteins were chosen for their small size rather than with any particular therapeutic goal in mind. The median size of a protein is something like 300-400 residues and most venom toxins are pretty small as proteins go which would make them good candidates for Foldit.

jawz101's picture
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It looks like they

It looks like they reintroduced a platypus venom puzzle (spiders & snakes would make more sense to me so hopefully they expand the idea.) One thing I don't understand with this one is, from what I briefly read, current antivenoms/antivenins work to bind to the venom proteins

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antivenom#Mechanism

yet this platypus puzzle is just a venom thingy. Wouldn't the puzzle have a venom and then something you're attaching to the venom? Like the covid puzzle?

jawz101's picture
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... I wonder if this one is

... I wonder if this one is more about seeing what therapeutics we can use the venom for rather than trying to actually counteract it.

I'm all for making new drugs but the more ... I dunno... altruistic thing should be to protect people from getting stung/bit and dying versus making new cholesterol meds.

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revisiting puzzles

The platypus venom puzzle and all the other "revisiting" puzzles have appeared many times before. They've all been "solved", so the 3D structure for each one is available in the PDB.

The revisiting puzzles are mainly about having an easier "novice" puzzle running most of the time. They also help make sure that nothing is too far off in the current version of Foldit/Rosetta.

See the revisiting puzzle master list for the complete series. The "puzzle guides" listed include the matching PDB entries. The revisits generally happen in the order of the original Foldit puzzle number.

Many of the revisiting puzzle proteins are small, which is probably one reason they were selected in the early days of Foldit. There are several venom puzzles, which include scorpions and cobras. Not sure if they were picked for the small size or the cool factor. Also, Rosetta has historically had issues with scoring disulfide bridges, which is one reason the venom revisits now have a bonus for each bridge.

From what the science team has said previously, no one is really monitoring the results of the revisiting puzzles. You'll probably come up with something close the published result on most of them. (One or two revisiting puzzles don't seem to want to follow the PDB, however.)

Susume's picture
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I wonder what Alphafold says?

On the ones where foldit does not want to follow the PDB, I wonder if the Alphafold prediction would be closer to foldit or to the published structure? If AF supports foldit's preference for a different conformation, it might be educational to give players the ED data and see what we can do with that.

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