I’ll Never Make Fun of Online Gamers Again!

Online gamers have solved an interesting problem in AIDS research:

“We wanted to see if human intuition could succeed where automated methods had failed,” said Dr. Firas Khatib of the University of Washington Department of Biochemistry. Khatib is a researcher in the protein structure lab of Dr. David Baker, professor of biochemistry.

Remarkably, the gamers generated models good enough for the researchers to refine and, within a few days, determine the enzyme’s structure. Equally amazing, surfaces on the molecule stood out as likely targets for drugs to de-active the enzyme.


Begging for articles on Australopithecus sediba

Apparently, Science has a slew of articles on Australopithecus sediba. Could someone send them to me?

Kristian J. Carlson, Dietrich Stout, Tea Jashashvili, Darryl J. De Ruiter, Paul Tafforeau, Keely Carlson, Lee R. Berger. The Endocast of MH1, Australopithecus sediba. Science, 2011; DOI: 10.1126/science.1203922
Job M. Kibii, Steven E. Churchill, Peter Schmid, Kristian J. Carlson, Nichelle D. Reed, Darryl J. De Ruiter, Lee R. Berger. A Partial Pelvis of Australopithecus sediba. Science, 2011; DOI: 10.1126/science.1202521
Tracy L. Kivell, Job M. Kibii, Steven E. Churchill, Peter Schmid, Lee R. Berger. Australopithecus sediba Hand Demonstrates Mosaic Evolution of Locomotor and Manipulative Abilities. Science, 2011; DOI: 10.1126/science.1202625
Bernhard Zipfel, Jeremy M. Desilva, Robert S. Kidd, Kristian J. Carlson, Steven E. Churchill, Lee R. Berger. The Foot and Ankle of Australopithecus sediba. Science, 2011; DOI: 10.1126/science.1202703
Robyn Pickering, Paul H. G. M. Dirks, Zubair Jinnah, Darryl J. De Ruiter, Steven E. Churchil, Andy I. R. Herries, Jon D. Woodhead, John C. Hellstrom, Lee R. Berger. Australopithecus sediba at 1.977 Ma and Implications for the Origins of the Genus Homo. Science, 2011; DOI: 10.1126/science.1203697

Thanks in advance

Project Nim

Back in 2008 I wrote a book review of Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human There are a number of stories in the Guardian concerning a documentary, based on the book, on the subject. First, Peter Singer reviews the film. Second, Carole Jahme interviews special effects artist Pauline Fowler. Finally, there is a picture gallery.