The creators of mobile game Foldit are bringing scientists together to cure sepsis, also known as “blood poisoning.”
The condition causes one’s entire body to be inflamed as a result of an infection. It is the immune system’s response to bacteria in various tissues and fluids throughout the body. Sepsis occurs upwards of 100 million times a year and can be fatal.
Foldit presents users with a simulated structure of a protein. The player is then tasked to “fold” the protein — effectually rearranging the shape of it, to create a unique, but stable result. When a new shape has been created, it is sent to researchers to be analyzed. If it is found to stable, it may provide researchers with insight into a possible treatment for those who suffer from sepsis.
By creating a crowdsourcing game, researchers and Foldit founders hope be able to better treat this disease. The crowdsourcing function could potentially allow for more solutions in a more efficient way.