I would like to open discussion on what a scientifically valuable solution in symmetric puzzles actually is.
The reason for this is that even though I have played many of them now I do not really know what actually is a scientifically "good" solution.
If it would just be for the score then I would only do helix or sheet+helix bundles that are packed as much as possible to each other. For example in 1977 Tetramer the to me seemingly straight-forward approach is to design a "surfing hotdog" (sheet-region on top of two helix bundles). This will give a somewhat "brick-like" quadar which can be positioned so that it packs together nicely with the symmetric chains (so that basically no voids are present). To satisfy the HBond-objective, the simplest way is to put in 3 histidines close to the symmetric origin. The histidines will EXACTLY satisfy the HBond-objective once they bond properly to the symmetric copies.
Even though this seems to be the simplest way to solve these puzzles, I get the impression that it is not the scientifically most valuable and I would like to understand why? It is to me as regular as this symmetric structure can be. Of course there are large contact-areas that may possible not exactly fold up as modeled in Foldit but to me this can also happen with other approaches.
Of course many other approaches can be taken and many Foldit players have come up with really great solutions. Let it be skewed bundles or barrel-like connected sheets. The newsletters gave a good impression of them.
But what has real worth for science? Is it as much as possible buried HBond-networks with as few as possible BUNs? Or as LITTLE as possible contact area between the main monomer and symmetric copies? Or should the bundles be skewed as much as possible? Should it be as regular/packed as possible?
I would really be thankful for some guidance there. I know that much is possible but to me it would be more effective to better understand in what direction we should be looking.
A further thing is the HBond-bonus-function. I have been playing around a lot with HBond-networks as of late and I do not understand fully how the HBond-bonus is actually derived. Sometimes I got nets that are huge but the bonus was not full even though there were many connections between symmeric chains and main and few open atoms/BUNs. I find it hard to EXACTLY satisfy the HBond-bonus limit without doing the 3xhistidine in the center approach. Even though in most cases it is possible in skewed designs after some fiddling with the net and in most cases DELETING parts of the net. Is this really a desired behavior for the HBond-bonus function?
Thanks in advance and happy folding to all!