Document Type


Publication Date



Chemistry and Biochemistry


As problems in structural biology and bioinformatics have become increasingly complex, innovative new com-putational methods have been proposed and implemented. Of these methods, research games are unique in how they privi-lege human intuition over algorithmic verification in certain steps of the research process; researchers in structural biology have developed a number of research games since 2008 to utilize human pattern recognition and spatial manipulation skills. Players are not expected to have any scientific knowledge, as the game interfaces abstract the relevant problems from their biological contexts, and they are not reimbursed or incentivized in any way apart from methods such as in-game lead-erboards and earning in-game points. Games such as Foldit (protein structure prediction), EteRNA (RNA structure predic-tion), and Phylo (DNA sequence alignment) have proven incredibly successful, solving some longstanding problems which had puzzled the scientific community for years.

Nominating Faculty

Rebecca Whelan, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Included in

Chemistry Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.