OHSU life science researcher Jonah Sacha, Ph.D. (photo courtesy of OHSU), recently received $1 million in new funding for HIV research. He will be leading a team of researchers who will be investigating the possibility of developing a new AIDS vaccine.
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Recently, Georgetown University researchers received a $3 million NIH bioresearch grant to open a new collaborative HIV/AIDS research center called the Developmental Center for AIDS Research (D-CFAR).
You know there’s been a paradigm shift in the world when complicated biomolecular problems are solved by gamers, as in the recent, much-reported case of an AIDS protein solution worked out by Foldit players in a crowdsourcing research challenge posed by scientists at the University of Washington. In the longrun, the most significant part of this remarkable story may be the experiment itself and the implications it has for the way we think about work and play, and how that might influence the way we approach future research challenges. UW computer game scientists and biochemists developed the online game Foldit to see if non-scientist gamers could be taught enough science and engaged long enough to work out a scientific problem. And it turns out they can.