Let's Get Ready for Drug Design Puzzles!
The first drug design puzzle is on its way! This will likely take place next week (unless of course, we run into currently unforeseen issues**).
I would like to first tell you why I am particularly excited about this series of puzzles. During the past decade, advances in drug design (specifically structure-based drug discovery) have seen a lot of success. However, the automated tools for this are encountering a huge problem with the total chemical space that can be sampled. It is estimated that the theoretical possible drug-like molecules is 1030-1060. This means that more than 99.9% of all drug-like molecules remain to be synthesized and explored for their therapeutic benefit. The scale is huge!
This is where you, as Foldit players, can help. The immense chemical and conformational space that needs to be sampled is greatly reduced with human spatial recognizing skills, which are far more robust at recognizing patterns than computer algorithms and can intuitively sample conformational and chemical space.
There is a lot of new technology involved with the drug design puzzles – it ranges from new drug design algorithms to robots! We will start covering these topics as the puzzles are introduced. For now, we are introducing a series of simple puzzles to help you understand some of the new tools. As time passes, we will release more complicated drug discovery problems and will start to provide targets with the hope of fighting a specific disease. The diseases that we will work on are rare and neglected diseases; these diseases have little research done on them and represent a space where the Foldit community can make a huge impact. If you have time, check this article out on the growing problem of rare and neglected diseases.
We look forward to hearing your feedback on these puzzles!
** which we did but we're ironing out!( Posted by free_radical 78 1431 | Tue, 09/29/2015 - 15:49 | 4 comments )