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Citizen Science Projects

Science Posse Resources

Citizen Science Projects partner volunteers, such as students, the general public and nature enthusiasts, with scientists to collect information and answer real-world questions.

Citizen Science Explained: SCIENCE NEWS, June 30, 2012

Citizen Science Results:

8-Year-Olds Publish Scientific Bee Study

Gamers Discover Protein Structure that Could Help in the War on HIV

Citizen Science Opportunities:

Did You Feel It? allows the U.S. Geological Service to track the effects of earthquakes. Citizens can log on to describe the strength and duration of shaking and give details like whether buildings were damaged or dishes rattled.

Wildlife Health Event Reporter allows users to to report sightings of sick or dead wildlife so scientists can detect and contain disease outbreaks.

Citizen Science Central at Cornell University helps citizen scientists find and participate in an existing project, or design their own.

Nature's Notebook, run by the National Phenology Network, lets people share observations of natural phenomena like the timing of flowing, animal migrations and color changes in leaves. This data is used by scientists to examine the effects of year-to-year and season-to-season climate variations.

Foldit is revolutionary new computer game contributing to important scientific research.
What big problems is this game tackling?
Protein structure prediction: Knowing the structure of a protein is key to understanding how it works and to targeting it with drugs. A small proteins can consist of 100 amino acids, while some human proteins can be huge (1000 amino acids). The number of different ways even a small protein can fold is astronomical because there are so many degrees of freedom. Figuring out which of the many, many possible structures is the best one is regarded as one of the hardest problems in biology today and current methods take a lot of money and time, even for computers. Foldit attempts to predict the structure of a protein by taking advantage of humans' puzzle-solving intuitions and having people play competitively to fold the best proteins.
Protein design: Since proteins are part of so many diseases, they can also be part of the cure. Players can design brand new proteins that could help prevent or treat important diseases.
What diseases might playing this contribute to curing?
           HIV / AIDS
What's being said about Foldit:
NPR Audio
ABC News, San Francisco
Science Daily

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