A new computer game developed by researchers at the University of Washington allows gamers to manipulate and fold virtual protein strands and gain a better understanding of their structures, U.K. news website In The News reports (inthenews.co.uk, 5/9).

Researchers hope that the game technology may one day be used to combat viruses such as HIV and malaria.

“Long-term, I’m hoping that we can get a significant fraction of the world’s population engaged in solving critical problems in world health, and doing it collaboratively and successfully through the game,” says professor of biochemistry David Baker.

According to In The News, the game, Foldit, allows players to fold protein strands into three-dimensional shapes to earn high scores, combining biomedical education with competitive gaming.

To play FoldIt yourself, click here.