Foldit is an online game in which humans try to solve one of the hardest computational problems in biology: protein folding. You don't need to know anything about biology to play the game, although a little background will help. Most Foldit player are not biologists. Read about The Science Behind Foldit.
Foldit is running a series of coronavirus puzzles, and a lot of new users have joined to help in the fight.
The initial series of puzzles asked players to design a binder to attach to the "spike protein" that allows coronavirus to attach to human cells. Several player designs have been selected for testing in the "wet lab", as detailed in the Foldit blog post Coronavirus binder designs queued for testing!
The coronavirus beginner puzzle that runs until 15 April 2020 also targets the spike. The beginner version starts with a design for the binder, which players can try to improve or even totally replace.
The current intermediate puzzle 1817: Coronavirus ORF6 Prediction, is different. ORF6 is protein that's found in coronavirus, and is believed to help the virus avoid the immune system. The 3D shape of ORF6 is unknown, so the goal is for players to figure it out.
See the Coronavirus FAQ for general information about the Foldit coronavirus puzzles.
Visit the fold.it, the official Foldit site to download the game and get started. Foldit runs on Windows, Mac, and 64-bit Linux. See Download-Install-Troubleshoot for install instructions. Use the feedback page if you're having trouble getting the game installed. If you're seeing "error contacting server" messages, update this feedback with details.
New: the video QUICK Foldit Tutorial Walkthrough from S0ckrates shows the fast path through the intro puzzles.
See Get Started Playing Foldit for more.
See Foldit Status for any issues affecting the game.
- Beginner Puzzle (<150): Coronavirus runs through 15 April 2020. Only players with less than 150 global points can play this version of the puzzle for points. A good way to get started, see coronavirus beginner puzzle and the Coronavirus FAQ.
- Puzzle 1815: Symmetric Trimer Design: H-bond Networks, expires 27 March.
- Puzzle 1816: Revisiting Puzzle 109: Pumpkin, expires 1 April.
- Puzzle 1817: Coronavirus ORF6 Prediction, expires 2 April 2020.
- As always, there are Intro Puzzles to get started, and also some non-coronavirus Beginner Puzzles.
- Lab work: Coronavirus binder designs queued for testing!
- Discord comes to Foldit: A new Discord server gives players a new spot to hang out. Discord is oriented toward online gaming, and offers many features not found in IRC chat. In addition to basic text chat, Discord has voice chat and even screen sharing options. Discord has apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and also offers web access. Discord users can be connected on multiple platforms at the same time. Messages on Discord persist, so offline users can catch up later.
- Chillin': the Foldit Cryo-EM paper has been published in PLOS Biology. The Foldit blog makes you scroll down before announcing Foldit players take gold!. Once again, Foldit players beat actual scientists. The paper's supplement (docx format) contains commentary from several Foldit players on how they did it.
- Free proteins: the four known solved Foldit designs seen in the Foldit protein design paper are now available in all their 3D glory in the PDB.
- Nurture versus Nature: De novo protein design by citizen scientists, describing the results of Foldit design puzzles, was published in Nature 5 June 2019. Five Foldit players are listed as named authors, along with "Foldit Players". A longer list of players appears in the "Supplementary information" section. See the Foldit blog post about the paper. Congratulations to lead author Brian Koepnick!
- Closely contested: Foldit now lets you bring your own protein with custom contests. This feature has been frequently requested for classroom puzzles. We'll have more about it on the wiki soon, in the mean time read the paper describing how it works.
- Naming names: a number of Foldit players are listed as authors (using their real names) on an article just published in Nature Scientific Reports. See Interesting Articles (under "contribution of Foldit players to scientific results") for a complete list and a link to the paper.
- FolditatUW - foldit's official YouTube channel.
- P1 - Introduction to Protein Design (15m)
- P2 - Design of New Protein Functions (27m)
- Beta_Helix's Foldit video the basics explained (40m)
- Through the eyes of a scientist Design solutions reviewed (26m)
- Design solutions reviewed Part 2 (22m)
- As seen on TV: Origami Revolution. Nova on PBS featured protein folding, David Baker, Rosetta@Home and Foldit. (Minutes 20 through 28, with Foldit briefly mentioned at 23:45.)
Tools, tips, techniques
- Foldit 101 - Useful information about Puzzle Types, the Cookbook and recipe basics.
- How to get started - With pictures from an actual puzzle
- Puzzle Results - screen shots of top scoring and interesting player solutions.
- Blackbelt Folding - Sessions 1,2, 3 & 4 denovo
- Electron Density - info and videos
- Hydrogen Bond Networks
- Download-Install-Troubleshoot includes Tracks, devprev and using multiple clients on Windows, Mac and Linux
- Foldit chat (IRC)
- Frequently asked questions
- Foldit Accessibility
- Foldit Translations
- Strategy - how to improve your score
- TheGame - tools, score details and Lua scripting
- Groups-Players - groups (teams), players and a bit of humour.
- The Research Room - advanced discussions and lots of external links
- Scientist and Developer Chats
- Hydrogen Bond Networks
- Small molecule design puzzles
- Interesting Articles
Contents ( View All Pages - Foldit Wikia Index )
Players can submit screenshots of their best or most interesting results using the camera button in chat. The Foldit wiki has thousands of these images. See recent puzzle results and older results for a complete list. See posting results for tips on how to post.
These pages describe the science of protein folding.
- Primary Structure
- Secondary Structure
- Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic (also known as "blue out, orange in")
- Protein Folding Theory
- Biochemistry I
This is a wiki about the Foldit game that anyone can edit. Before you do edit it, however, please take a look around and determine whether or not the article you'd like to write already exists. (If it does exist, feel free to make it better!)
To write a new article, just enter the article title in the box below.
- Not sure where to start?
- Find out more about the wiki on the About page.
- If you are new to wikis, check out the tutorial.
- Check out Help:Starting this wiki if you're setting up the wiki.
- Adding content
- Every wiki has two list of articles that need help called "Stubs" and "Wanted Articles". Don't be shy, get in there.
- Uploading images is another really easy way to help out - see the Special:Upload page!
- You can find a list of useful templates on Category:Templates, some of which are documented on the templates project page.
- Talk and more...
- Check out the community portal to see what the community is working on, to give feedback or just to say hi.