Tag Archives: folding


EteRNA logoEteRNA, developed by Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University is a Flash-based folding game, like Fold It, that enlists users to fold RNA for optimized versions, which can then be tested in the lab. Citizen science!

You can participate by signing up directly at the site or linking through facebook (and setting your profile on the EteRNA site).

The game comes with a tutorial to get you familiar with the building blocks of RNA and how to manipulate them to get the desired folding shape. After the tutorial one can try to solve a number of increasingly difficult puzzles.

Scores are kept and displayed in a leaderboard. The game auto-saves the progress on the latest puzzle you might have been working on.

For more expert knowledge on how to solve the puzzles, a number of strategy guides can be found through the community which help in solving and further optimizing the RNA folds.

Scoring 10,000 points or more, by solving the tutorials and a bunch of the challenges, gives you access to the RNA Lab where a real version of some version of RNA can be designed and proposed, which after voting, will then be tested in the real lab.

You can get an idea of what it looks like through an embedded version, as below:

For more detailed info on how the folding of RNA is used, see their information page.

Some media links:
RNA Game Lets Players Help Find a Biological Prize (NY Times)
Online game helps predict how RNA folds (New Scientist)
New video game makes game players Stanford professor’s virtual lab assistants (Stanford)

And finally a short video from Carnegie Mellon that explains EteRNA: