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dap's picture
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Joined: 07/06/2009
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I just starting folding a week or so ago and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. As I gain experience and learn more about certain strategies and read about other people's strategies, I'm starting to become more and more confused about what this project is intended to do.

From what I've read the goal is to show that through human's puzzle solving skills and the desire to do so, we might be better suited to solving these protein folding problems than a computer(s). But, it seems as though most of the strategies involve random combinations of global and local pulls, shakes and wiggles. Random iterations is what computers do best, so why get a bunch of people to do very slowly what a computer could be programmed to do very quickly? I guarantee a PC could reorganize random sidechains followed by a global wiggle faster than I could. Being inexperienced, maybe the answer is that the best of the best folders don't use random strategies, they shake, wiggle and pull for well thought out reasons?

Just looking for some of your thoughts.

Thanks,
Dale

Joined: 12/14/2008
One part: Intuitive solving.

One part: Intuitive solving. Something that a computer cannot do. (older project: Even a little child can mark a crater on the moon, but a computer cannot very good decide when its a shadow, when a crater...)
And if you have folded a few intense weeks you get a feeling for the protein. You just "see" that this cannot be.

second part: By watching humans fold, the team wants to improve the computers. The human folders are better then any computer program! And even the best computer solutions can be very different from the native. This means they are unusable.

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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, RosettaCommons