As fanciful as it may sound at first, gamers on Foldit, a crowdsourced, online protein folding simulator from the University of Washington, actually managed to solve a longstanding problem in AIDS research that has vexed scientists for more than a decade. And they did so in about 10 days.
Three players in particular were able to build upon each other to establish the most accurate model to date of an elusive protease enzyme in the AIDS-like Mason-Pfizer monkey virus.
I think alot of credit has to go not only to the impressive gaming skills of the players, but the scientists that came up with the game. I would love to see more instances of this.
For more on the story, with links to those wanting more detail, click through to TPM.