Toronto Diary
1 min

Gamers are kicking the crap out of HIV/AIDS

So it turns out that if you want something done right, get a video gamer to do it for you. Yes, when given the task of predicting the structure of retroviral protease, an enzyme that aids in the spread of the HIV virus in the human body, video gamers were able to create an accurate structure of the enzyme in 3D in a matter of only a couple weeks, which could be huge for antiretroviral medication. Compared to actual scientists, who have been trying to do this for 10 years.

To be fair, though, video games do have a long history of defeating STIs. Remember those cuddly little red, blue and yellow viruses from Dr Mario? Syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea respectively. In Metroid, the main enemy was a bunch of parasitic life forms that could be destroyed only by being frozen off (although Gardasil is equally effective). And in Earthbound, the final boss fight was actually an allegory for… Well, you know what? Maybe it’s best you didn’t know.

The point is, at this rate, beating most fatal illnesses will be as easy as lining up three pills of the same colour. 

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