Crowdsourced Data Helps Scientists Construct the World’s Largest Family Tree

We cannot predict how long we each live, but can our genes? For as long as longevity has been a desirable good, it has never been equally distributed across humanity, not even within families. The role of heritable traits in longevity is still debated. Previous genomic studies have reported a low heritability for longevity. However, inadequate sample sizes prevent these studies from examining the influence of … Continue reading Crowdsourced Data Helps Scientists Construct the World’s Largest Family Tree

Foldit players beat scientists in determining a protein’s shape

Eight years ago, a team at the University of Washington developed Foldit, a protein folding game that pits gamers against scientists and computer algorithms. Proteins, which are made up of a string of building blocks, called amino acids, form much of the core machinery of cells. When immersed in water, protein chains adopt a variety of shapes that enable them to perform their cellular roles. … Continue reading Foldit players beat scientists in determining a protein’s shape