Recent Exciting Discoveries by Foldit
This is a brief update on the more recent discoveries by Foldit play. I should mention that most of the journals we are sending to have a press embargo that precludes us from describing the details of these findings. Nevertheless, at the same time you should not have to wait to hear about the fantastic work that has emerged out of Foldit play. Here's the summary of most recent discoveries:
1. a protein that has not been solved for 15 years has recently been resolved by Foldit players and confirmed by x-ray crystalography (see http://fold.it/portal/node/989012 ). the paper is currently submitted to science. The group that produced the solution is on the author list. This protein had to wait for 15 years, just for the 2 weeks of focused Foldit play in order to be resolved.
2. Recent analysis of macros used by Foldit players lead to a comparison of those macros against the state of the art algorithms. we found that some of the frequently used macros outperform standard proteomics algorithms, and are actually a variant of fast relax protocol that is currently not published but is known to outperform other relaxation methods. the paper is in preparation to be sent very soon.
3. A new enzyme has been developed AND confirmed in the lab that has improved over other known enzymes focusing on Diels-Alder reactions. In this case the scientists used the novel backbone configuration from the Foldit players, and redesigned the sidechains. the paper is in preparation.
So in summary, over the 2 years of Foldit life, we have both shown that Foldit players can outperform known computational methods, discovered the structure of an unsolved protein, discovered novel automated methods for protein relaxation, and designed new proteins that are confirmed in the laboratory. Arguably, it would be hard to find any new lab in the world that could boast with these kinds of outcomes in just 2 years of its existence. Of course, i only expect us to do even greater things in the future.
Foldit players should be proud of what they have accomplished. In my view, the most important outcome of this game is that we may have tripled of quadrupled the number of world experts in protein science in two years.( Posted by zoran 131 3210 | Tue, 04/19/2011 - 17:15 | 3 comments )