Posts Tagged ‘AIDS’
November 17th, 2011 at 5:19 pm
As Government Centralizes Health Care Control, the Free Market Combats AIDS
Posted by Print

Though we’re still a few years away from full implementation of Obamacare, we all know the program’s general drift: greater government control of everything from what kinds of care health insurance policies must cover to which medical procedures or pharmaceuticals doctors can provide. Yet at the same time, we’re seeing how the remarkable power of freedom and voluntary collaboration — the exact opposite of the Washington model — can revolutionize our health. From a remarkable piece at Reason:

For more than 10 years, health researchers have been stumped by an enzyme that helps retroviral infections like AIDS reproduce. Biologists studying the enzyme were unable to model its shape, a crucial first step in figuring out how to beat it.

Recently scientists turned the problem over to an unusual team of collaborators: video gamers. Using Foldit, a free online protein folding game developed at the University of Washington in 2008, those gamers competed to see who could produce the most accurate virtual model of the real-life enzyme.

In just three weeks, gamers accomplished what scientists had been unable to do for more than a decade—no special scientific under- standing required.

An ingenious marriage of technology and creativity. Does anyone expect to see more of this when Washington is in the driver’s seat?