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Joined: 04/19/2011

Since the solution of this puzzle can actually be a useful step to develop an antiviral protein against SARS-CoV-2, and the time is an essence, I am wondering whether would not be more efficient starting a joint effort, where every Foldit players would have access to the present overall best solution and opportunity to improve or modify it - like in a contest. Of course, there wouldn't be soloist scores there, only evolver.
What do you think?

spvincent's picture
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I like the idea of an

I like the idea of an all-hands competition at some stage, but maybe to do it now is premature. There's no reason to suppose that the highest scoring solution in Foldit will turn out to be the best in practice: there are doubtless all kinds of solutions that the scientists would like to test. To have such a puzzle right now would be to discourage solution diversity.

jeacom's picture
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maybe but.

I think it actually is better to let people figure out by themselves. It looks like a better design only appears once in a while when someone tries to make a new protein from ground up and nails it, it dont seem fruitful to stick with the same base for too long as the score seems to increase with diminishing returns.

Probably people trying out new strategies is better to increase the exploration of more possible solutions.

Joined: 03/14/2020
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how to change the background

how to change the background color? I would like to help but since I have photophobia I cannot stand the white screen.

Thank you very much.
Excuse me for the inconvenience.

Joined: 09/24/2012
Groups: Go Science
in view menu

(Please ask such a question in feedback or in a new topic, not as an answer to another topic next time)

In view menu, on the back right, you can select black background.
It's possible you first have to select menu, advanced GUI.

jeacom's picture
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I found it.
Joined: 09/24/2012
Groups: Go Science
Not when we have many players

In round 1, my top scoring solution and the one of Zeroleak (that was the Go Science Top) were both on the wrong side of the virus (see blog and last video).

This indicates that we are too much inspired one from the other in a same team. We stick to the same kind of solution.

It's better that many players can try many different designs in order to have a chance to find the right one. Evolvers within a group can help express the full potential of a group promising solution, but it's better that several groups work on different ideas in blind.

bkoep's picture
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Groups: Foldit Staff
Great suggestion

I think all of the main points have been addressed here, but I'll just chime in with the perspective of the Foldit team. (The answer below is copied from a comment on the blog.)

We've thought about an all-hands puzzle here, but I don't actually think that would lead to better results. In short, we're currently limited by quantity of solutions—not quality.

It seems that individual players and teams are perfectly capable of coming up with valid models that cover wide diversity of structures (which is important). I'm afraid that in an "all-hands" puzzle, many players would spend their efforts refining models that don't need it, and in the end we would sacrifice diversity of models.

There's a big question about how important "late-game" optimization is in Foldit. You can always grind away at optimizing a solution and squeaking out a few more points (with diminishing returns, of course)—but at a certain point, this optimization doesn't actually improve the scientific validity of the solution. From a scientific standpoint, we think players' time would be better spent developing another solution from scratch. This is why we introduced the Sketchbook puzzles, that require players to restart the puzzle after hitting a move limit.


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