In what is believed to be the first instance of electronic gamers reaching a scientific discovery before trained research scientists, University of Washington (UW) gamers did indeed produce a model of an enzyme in AIDS and other viruses that scientists have been trying to model for more than 10 years. This was not just an academic exercise to test the new UW Fold-it game; discovery of the AIDS molecule in question opens the door to a whole new line of retroviral drugs.
For the third year in a row, the Biomimicry Institute, a non-profit organication that promotes the study and imitation of designs found in nature, is sponsoring the Biomimicry Student Design Challenge. This year the Challenge, which is open to college students world-wide, is to use biomimicry to design a solution that results in more efficient use of energy and ultimately reduces greenhouse gases. No small feat, but the Institute provides students with plenty of resources on biomimicry....
... .A spur-of-the-moment experiment, cracking the secret of the 'coffee-ring effect,' captured the imaginations of sophisticated scientists, and voila! They discovered a new technique for making inks and paints that will positively impact these technologies, enhance public appreciation of the techniques, and make them some money too.