David Baker, a protein scientist at the University of Washington, has designed a game that will actually help scientists solve three-dimensional protein puzzles. Foldit is like a way more interactive version of SETI – you’re not just using your computer to solve scientific problems, you’re providing the input that computers can’t manage (with their cold unfeeling logical processes, they’re unable to work out things our mushy organic brains can tackle all-too easily (one of the reasons we keep winning our wars against them)).

Oh, yes, let me repeat: it’s also a game. Cool.

Read the article over at Technology Review and the Foldit homepage for more info.

Some tunes to get you in the mood for gaming for science…

London Elektricity – The Strangest Secret in the World | download

Aphex Twin – Heliosphan | download

(I’m not entirely sure what Aphex Twin is doing here – his ambient works just feel like the soundtrack to lab science to me. Lots of heavily serious dudes in white coats playing with the building blocks of matter in super-clean, super-white workspaces.

Hm… That’s how I imagine Ikea’s headquarters looks too.  I really need to work on my stereotyping.)