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Citizen Science

ARTE – Die Fruehlingsforscher

Sch̦nes Projekt Рerinnert ein bisschen an BBC Springwatch.

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Foldit is an online game that enlists ordinary citizens in order to help molecular biologists solve some of their stubbornest challenges – the structure of proteins in space.
While decoding the sequence of aminoacids in a protein has become a fairly routine procedure by now, determining a protein’s spatial structure is still a huge problem:

Knowing the structure of a protein is key to understanding how it works and to targeting it with drugs. A small proteins can consist of 100 amino acids, while some human proteins can be huge (1000 amino acids). The number of different ways even a small protein can fold is astronomical because there are so many degrees of freedom. Figuring out which of the many, many possible structures is the best one is regarded as one of the hardest problems in biology today and current methods take a lot of money and time, even for computers. Foldit attempts to predict the structure of a protein by taking advantage of humans’ puzzle-solving intuitions and having people play competitively to fold the best proteins.

The latest success of the gamers is the decoding of an enzyme involved in the reproduction of HIV.
This is what the players say:

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For conservation super heroes: Track your local bats with the Zoological Society’s new “bat phone”.

BBC Nature – A smart way to save wildlife.

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Miniermotten-Monitoring per App (leider nur in England):

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Citizen Science zum Internationalen Jahr der Chemie:

Teachers and students from around the world are invited to explore one of Earth’s most vital resources, water. Through the Global Chemistry Experiment ‘Water: A Chemical Solution’ students will explore the chemistry of water and the role of water in society and the environment. The results of their investigations will contribute to a Global Experiment, which will possibly become the biggest chemistry experiment ever.


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I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here! is an award-winning science enrichment and engagement activity, funded by the Wellcome  Trust. It’s an X Factor-style competition for scientists, where students are the judges. Scientists and students talk online on this website. They both break down barriers, have fun and learn. But only the students get to vote.


IAS ist inzwischen schon fast ein Klassiker. Das Projekt gibt es seit 2008 und inzwischen haben über 15.000 junge Leute daran teilgenommen.
Besonders schön: die Bandbreite der Fragen. Es ist alles erlaubt – hochwissenschaftliche (What is the most complex area of quantum physics? What happened before the big bang?) und andere Wissensfragen (What is the highest temperature of water that you can sit in for 1 minute and not die?), aber auch Fragen nach dem Beruf des Wissenschaftlers/der Wissenschaftlerin (What makes a good scientist?, What happens if you prove a scientist theory wrong?) oder nach persönlichen Erfahrungen (Who is your role model? how has family reponded to you becoming a scientist? Have you ever had a downfall in your career?  Have you ever regretted becoming a scientist???????? ). Hut ab! Da müssen sich die Wissenschaftler/innen schon ganz schön ins Zeug legen.

Heute ist der letzte Tag der diesjährigen Staffel – bin gespannt, wer die Kinder am Ende am meisten überzeugt!

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