NOVA describes how some genomics problems are being solved using computer gaming: "Gaming and genomics".
"When a computer tries to solve the problem, it will always try to solve it the same way – the way it has been programmed to solve it," says co-creator Mathieu Blanchette. "Whereas humans, because we don't tell them how to solve it, they'll have different strategies. That will provide us with a variety of different solutions, some of which will turn out to be better than those found by the computer."
Therefore, asking a lot of people to solve the same problem often gives the best results, and that is what Waldispühl and Blanchette have done. They've crowdsourced the game. They've put it up on the web for anyone to play. About 500 people a day are playing it from all over the world, according to the scientists.
The challenge for many of us is to find ways to break down problems into these small parts that can be distributed.