Where citizen science meets the coronavirus—and how you can help

Creators of the popular protein-folding game, Foldit, are seeking help to design a treatment for COVID-19.

Photo: Getty Images
  • Since being founded in 2008, the crowdsourced protein-folding game, Foldit, has helped solve many novel problems.
  • In recent months, the Foldit team has presented its community with problems relating to COVID-19.
  • Foldit founder, David Baker, says over 20,000 different designs for potential COVID-19 antiviral proteins have been submitted.
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Attempting to track COVID-19 with smart rings for responders

Medical researchers put a ring on it to learn more about the onset of COVID-19.

  • Smart rings are being tested on San Francisco ER workers to track symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The rings, designed by a company called Oura, detect heart rate, temperature, and respiration.
  • The researchers hope to build a diagnostic algorithm from the collected data.
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    Stand by the launch: The world's 1st orbiting light sail

    An elegant, 400-year-old means of navigating the stars takes flight.

    Image source: Planetary Society
    • The Planetary Society is about to launch LightSail 2, a crowdfunded light sail craft.
    • LightSail 2 uses photons from the sun as fuel.
    • Space X's Falcom Heavy rocket will carry LightSail 2 aloft, 720 kilometers up.
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    Collective intelligence out-diagnoses even professionals

    The Human Diagnosis Project project is building the world's "open medical intelligence" system.

    OSTILL is Franck Camhi via Shutterstock
    • The Human Diagnosis Project can develop medical diagnoses with startling accuracy.
    • The platform combines the knowledge of medical professionals and artifical intelligence.
    • The goal of the project is to provide open, readily available high-level guidance and training to health care professionals across the globe.
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    One-third of all slavery is visible from space

    Advances in satellite imagery are shining a light.

    Boyd et al., 2018
    • Today, there are 40.3 million slaves on the planet, more than the number of people living in Canada.
    • Slavery can be hard to find, but it commonly occurs in several key industries like fishing and mining.
    • Using satellite data, researchers and activists are using crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence to identify sites where slavery is taking place.
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