The rundown on coronavirus

You don't have to be a scientist to do science! Download and play Foldit and you can help researchers discover new antiviral drugs that might stop coronavirus! The most promising solutions will be manufactured and tested at the University of Washington Institute for Protein Design in Seattle.

Foldit is run by academic research scientists. It is free to play and not-for-profit. To get started, download Foldit and create a username!

We recommend that new players start with the Foldit Intro Puzzles.
After some practice, move on to the Science Puzzles and try out the Beginner: Coronavirus puzzle.
We also have an advanced puzzle NEW advanced puzzle where you can try to design an antiviral protein from scratch!

To meet other players, check out the Foldit Discord channels.

Note: Foldit is an interactive computer game and not a distributed computing project. If you would like to donate idle CPU cycles to science, please check out the Rosetta@Home project on BOINC.

(Wed, 03/04/2020 - 05:46  |  9 comments)
Keresto's picture
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Tutorial videos

On the YT channel there are tutorial videos, they good but video low quality and in game also a lot of new tools. Will you update tutorial videos? And i don't know if it's worth to.

beta_helix's picture
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Great point, Keresto!

Indeed we have been working on this element, as well as improving our tutorial system in general. We hope to release this to devprev soon!


Joined: 03/05/2020
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sorry but can't a quantum computer be used to solve this kind of problem?

LociOiling's picture
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little q-bitty quantum computers no help

Short answer, no. Quantum computers don't have enough qubits to help us out.

Levinthal's paradox gives a clue to the size of the problem.

While we're at it, check out Anfinsen's dogma.

Levinthal and Anfinsen were thinking of existing proteins, where the sequence of amino acids is known. Even without quantum computing, there's been a lot of progress on figuring out how a known protein will fold up, also known as "structure prediction".

For the coronavirus puzzles, we're trying to design a new protein that binds to the coronavirus spike. The new protein will have its own sequence of amino acids, but we won't know what it is until we're done. So 3300 or 10143 is actually a low-ball estimate.

Another problem is that quantum computing may involve "collaboration between parallel universes". If it is successful, we'll have to figure out how to credit all those parallel universe authors on the paper.

Susume's picture
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author list

...Players, F., Universes, P., Baker, D.

Joined: 09/24/2012
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In the news in Belgium
Joined: 03/11/2020
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"If you would like to donate idle CPU cycles to science, please check out the Rosetta@Home project on BOINC."

the Folding@Home project at Stanford (foldingathome dot org) is also in the process of introducing coronavirus proteins to be folded.

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This is true, but Rosetta@home helps us process designs from Foldit players!

The Stanford project is not associated with Foldit.

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Do they work on Android/Mobile Devices? called
"Android - Mobile Foldit Version Request"
and many other feedbacks like it make me
wonder if Rosetta@Home or Folding@Home
can run on Android or Mobile Devices.
My sense is that Foldit was once much
less interactive, almost like a
screensaver, and would run in the
background using a computer's idle
CPU cycles.

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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, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, Boehringer Ingelheim, RosettaCommons