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Fold It - UW Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Grades
9 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Use this (site) project to apply puzzle-solving skills to determine how proteins are folded. Proteins are fascinating, but their structures are difficult to comprehend. Why study the...more
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Use this (site) project to apply puzzle-solving skills to determine how proteins are folded. Proteins are fascinating, but their structures are difficult to comprehend. Why study the folding of proteins? The folding determines how they function and has implications for human health and how we live with materials and the environment. Bring out thinking processes with this downloadable interactive. Each protein becomes a puzzle. Players manipulate the protein into the form that provides the most efficiency. Researchers are tapping into the potential of the human brain to identify patterns. Understand the formation and breakdown of proteins through game play. Identify the four structures in proteins and their role in the functions and specificity of proteins. Download is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. There is an option to "join" for a fee. However, this is necessary only if you wish to comment on the site. As a "real world" connection showing the impact of this "game," see this article about the discoveries about HIV/AIDS that resulted from Fold It.

tag(s): atoms (56), hiv/aids (18), molecules (43)

In the Classroom

Allow students time to manipulate this site and learn the structures of proteins prior to the discussion of the content of the unit. Brainstorm what students have learned to develop notes or major content points. Identify the specific proteins and functions and determine why certain proteins have specific shapes. Identify the roles of proteins in the bodies of all living organisms. Connect these proteins with proteins in the diet and discuss the importance. Determine protein sources that are more beneficial for the human body. Think you have found the best way to fold the proteins? Register on the site and discuss the pattern.
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