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Cracking a Tough AIDS Research Puzzle: Boffins 0, US Gamers 1. Rock On!

An AIDS protein folding puzzle has stumped scientists for a decade, but US gamers cracked it in a mere three weeks! This was achieved by combining the brute force logic and speed of the digital computer, with the lateral thinking of the distinctly fuzzy human brain. To achieve this, a distributed computing application called Foldit was used, which involved gamers solving individual puzzles in a competitive atmosphere. This amazing merger of minds and machine over the internet creates a sort of distributed "cybernetic organism", which combines the strengths of biological and silicon computers into something far more powerful than either alone.

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