Game on: gamers beat scientists at modelling proteins

Stand back scientists: gamers have beaten highly qualified crystallographers, undergraduates and even computer algorithms at creating an accurate model on a protein, based on its biochemical data.
A team of scientists in America pitted the participants of the study against each other. In one corner, two highly trained crystallographers, in another, 61 undergraduate students using computer modelling programs, in the third, two computer algorithms, and in the last corner, 469 gamers playing a game called Foldit.
All they had to do was create a model of…

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Earth 2.0 – have we found a replacement?

Fancy jetting off somewhere new and exotic for your holidays this year? How about the newest, most expensive option out there?

Proxima b is your newly discovered, closest neighbouring habitable planet. Only 4.25 light years away, this rocky planet orbits our nearest star, Proxima Centuri. With a mass 1.3 times that of Earth, and a surface temperature which may, hopefully, if there’s an atmosphere, allow liquid water oceans to form, this planet may just be visit-able. A year long holiday on this planet is the perfect length – it lasts only 11.2 Earth days, excluding the 70,000 years of travel on modern spacecraft each way.

Okay, so the average surface temperature could be anything from…

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